BATON ROUGE, LA — Got an old wireless phone in your drawer? Turn it into cash for domestic violence victims by donating it at a Baton Rouge-area Verizon Wireless retail store during October.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider, will contribute five dollars (up to $1,000) for every phone donated to the Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center. Verizon's goal is to collect 200 phones and donate $1,000 to the agency. "The Battered Women's Program will use these funds to purchase items off our wish list," said Genny Abel, executive director of the Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center. "These can be small gifts for survivors who seek our assistance or items that will help our agency become a more efficient organization and allow us to reach more women in the community," said Abel.
Phone donations can be made by visiting any of Verizon's four Baton Rouge-area retail stores. All wireless phones and accessories are accepted regardless of condition.
In addition to monetary donations, phones collected by Verizon Wireless will be refurbished and preprogrammed to dial emergency hotline numbers and donated to local shelters. The phones will then be distributed to survivors of domestic violence whose circumstances have the potential to escalate into additional violence. Nationwide, nearly one million women suffer from abuse. "The phones could be a lifeline to a Baton Rouge resident by enabling her to quickly summon emergency help when faced with a life-threatening situation," said Abel. Since 1995, Verizon Wireless' community service program has been dedicated to using wireless technology to help individuals and communities. The company's primary philanthropic focus is on domestic violence awareness and prevention.
"With the tremendous technological changes taking place in telecommunications every year, customers are upgrading their phones to get the latest features," said Katherine Greene, regional president Verizon Wireless-Houston/Gulf Coast. "This cycle leaves many unused phones and accessories forgotten in a drawer or closet. Our Drop and Swap collection campaign offers a convenient way to make sure those phones go directly to those who need them most while demonstrating our commitment to putting more resources behind domestic violence awareness and prevention."
Phones that are too old to refurbish will be recycled or sold. Proceeds from donated phones that are sold will be used to purchase new phones for victims of domestic violence locally. Phones that are not able to be re-used will be disposed of through an EPA-certified salvage company.
Attorney General Richard P. Ieyoub is an active participant to ending domestic violence through the Corporate Citizenship Initiative, sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Ieyoub has implemented a statewide Action Plan designed to train employers how to respond to domestic violence in the workplace.
"With more than 2 million incidents of domestic violence reported annually, the impact on families and communities is significant and deadly," said Assistant Attorney General Gayle Jackson. "The donated and refurbished cell phones will be the lifeline for a woman who can reach law enforcement for help. Attorney General Ieyoub is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Verizon. They are not just our corporate partners, but good corporate citizens who understand that it is going to an entire community to put an end to domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable."
Any Baton Rouge-area organization that works with domestic violence victims can request phones by calling the Verizon Wireless phone collection hotline at 281-876-5101 to have their needs assessed and to submit requests. In addition to its retail collection program, Verizon Wireless offers a corporate wireless phone collection kit, available by calling the same hotline number, which includes a collection/shipping bin, instructions for implementing the program and information for employees.
Additional information on local domestic violence programs is available from the Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center at 225-389-3001 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.
Participating Verizon Wireless retail stores include:
Courtside Crossing Store 7474 Corporate Blvd.
LSU 3340 Highland Road
Mall of Louisiana 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd.
Sherwood Forest Store 4855 Sherwood Forest Blvd., Suite C
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.