MISAS Uses $5,000 Donation From Verizon Wireless To Fund New Mujeres En Esperanza (Women Of Hope) Program In Kentucky

OWENSBORO, KY — Verizon Wireless has donated $5,000 to Migrant/Immigrant Shelter and Support (MISAS) in Owensboro to help fund Mujeres en Esperanza (Women of Hope), a new program designed to educate Hispanic immigrant women, their partners and families about domestic violence and sex trafficking. MISAS provides migrants and immigrants with safe, affordable housing and supportive services to help them successfully integrate into their new community.

The gift commemorates the 10-year anniversary of Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® program, through which donated wireless handsets and equipment are refurbished and sold, with proceeds going to support domestic violence awareness and prevention programs.

Through a peer counseling system, Mujeres en Esperanza will offer program participants a supportive friendship and mentor network. Because many young Hispanic immigrant women are isolated in their homes without transportation to support resources, this program also will provide free transportation for them.

"Unfortunately, many Hispanic women in our community fall victim to domestic violence and sex trafficking," said Sister Larraine Lauter, founder and executive director of MISAS. "They need to be educated about their rights, available resources and avenues of change for their lives. Thanks to the generosity of Verizon Wireless, we can offer these women the education and support they need. We are so grateful to Verizon Wireless for helping us get this program up and running."

Verizon Wireless has made a priority of donating to programs like MISAS that raise awareness of, and help prevent, domestic violence and abuse. In 2004, through its award-winning HopeLine program, the company donated more than $800,000 to shelters and organizations to support domestic violence prevention programs and victims' services, and more than 11,000 phones, along with airtime and other features, to shelters to distribute for use by victims.

"HopeLine has grown significantly over the past decade and along the way has helped so many survivors-keeping them safe and helping them rebuild their lives," said Greg Haller, president—Kentucky/Indiana/Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless. "We're thankful to our customers and the countless other consumers, organizations and businesses for participating in the program and helping make possible gifts like this one to MISAS."

For more information about the HopeLine program, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About HopeLine2005 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program, which puts wireless products and services to work to combat domestic violence. Today, HopeLine collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless carrier and refurbishes or recycles them with proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence. The environmentally friendly HopeLine Program also provides victims with essential communication tools — wireless phones and wireless services, including voicemail and pre-paid wireless minutes. Donations are accepted at all 1, 900-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About MISASMISAS was founded in March 2002, in response to collaboration with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, which was seeking community partners to help expand innovative housing solutions for migrant farm workers. This initiative coincided with the recent rise in the Hispanic population in Daviess County. MISAS strives to provide migrants and immigrants with safe, affordable housing and supportive services to help them successfully integrate into their new community.