BURLINGTON, VT — HopeLineSM, Verizon Wireless' nationwide program to directly help women and children who are victims of domestic violence, was launched in Burlington at the company's Communications Store at 1335 Shelburne Road. The company donated five wireless phones, programmed to dial 911 and a non-emergency number, and airtime to Women Helping Battered Women (WHBW), the state's largest battered women's shelter.
The Verizon Wireless Women's Cycling Team, affiliated with the HopeLine program, presented WHBW with a $500 donation. The national team donates 100% of any prize money won in cycling races to HopeLine to benefit domestic violence survivors.
At the center of HopeLine is a phone-recycling program. The company's Burlington Communications store will serve as the drop-off location for wireless phones (any brand, any carrier) that are no longer in use. These phones are then refurbished, recycled or sold. Proceeds (including phones, service and cash) are donated to non-profit domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations. Phone donations may be tax-deductible. Phones may also be shipped to HopeLine c/o Verizon Wireless, 1776 East Elsworth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
"Verizon Wireless is committed to raising awareness of domestic violence, and providing communication lifelines to women in emergency situations when their safety, and the safety of their children, is threatened," said Bob Stott, Verizon Wireless New England region president. "People can help by recycling their old wireless phones instead of discarding them. Bring your old phone to the Verizon Wireless store in Burlington when you upgrade or no longer need it."
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, over 600,000 women were battered in the United States in 1999. Last year, Women Helping Battered Women provided services to almost 4000 victims of domestic violence through hot line telephone calls, crisis intervention, support groups, safety planning, referrals, advocacy, shelter and the children's services program.
"While the numbers we serve are high, we also suspect many cases go unreported," said Jeanne Smith, WHBW Development Coordinator. "According to the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, more than half of the women in Vermont will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. We also reach out to children who have witnessed domestic violence as we try to break the cycle. We're impressed that Verizon Wireless understands the problem of domestic violence and is reaching out to help in meaningful ways. We thank them very much," added Smith.
For more information call Duncan Milloy at 201.689.2209 or visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline. Women Helping Battered Women can be reached at 802.658.3131.
Note to Editor: HopeLine donation posters are available in PDF format as graphic support. For posters or photos, contact Duncan Milloy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201.689.2209.
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