Verizon Wireless Phones to Aid Domestic Violence Victims in Waukegan, Ill, and Throughout Lake County

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Continuing its commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness, Verizon Wireless has donated 65 wireless phones to the Lake County Ill. Sheriff's "Safety On-Call" wireless phone program.

Launched in February 2000, the Safety On-Call Program is designed to give domestic violence victims emergency 9-1-1 phones that will provide instantaneous contact with the Sheriff's Office and/or other emergency services. Through the program, the wireless phones are loaned to domestic violence victims who are in imminent danger or who express credible reason for fearing intimidation or further victimization.

The phones donated by Verizon Wireless will be distributed equally to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the Lake County States Attorney's Victim's Assistance Program and the Lake County Safe Place Shelter for Abused Persons.

"Due to the high demand for wireless phones, we sincerely appreciate Verizon Wireless' very generous and timely contribution," said Lake County Sheriff Gary Del Re, who oversees the Safety On-Call Program. "Through cooperative efforts such as this, we can focus our resources on putting a stop to domestic violence. Working together, we can strengthen our families, discourage violence, promote effective law enforcement, and protect those most at risk."

Carolyn Schamberger, public relations manager for Verizon Wireless' Illinois/Wisconsin Region, presented the company's phone donation at a ceremony today at the Lake County Sheriff's Office in Waukegan in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. "For many years now, Verizon Wireless has participated in phone donation programs to aid domestic violence victims and worked with civic and business leaders to spread the word about the damaging effects of domestic violence," said Schamberger. "We commend the Lake County Sheriff's Office for providing a lifeline to domestic violence victims. We are grateful to have the opportunity to help them and hope our contribution will make a difference in the lives of people who face difficult circumstances."

The phone donations are part of Verizon Wireless' HopeLineSM community service program that puts wireless technology to work to help individuals and communities. This year alone, Verizon Wireless has donated more than 3,000 wireless phones to domestic violence programs nationwide.

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