Hopeline Phone Recycling Program Receives Infusion Of Wireless Phones From The Town Of Belmont, Massachusetts

WOBURN, MA — Verizon Wireless today received nearly 300 phones and accessories collected throughout the Town of Belmont for its HopeLine® wireless phone recycling program to support domestic violence survivors. Organized by non-profit healthcare and human services organization Riverside Community Care, which serves individuals in the Belmont area who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, the recycling drive began in October and continued through January. Boxes were placed within several Belmont, Waltham and Watertown-based businesses including the Belmont Public Library, Belmont Police Department, Watertown Police Department, the Waltham YMCA and Superfitness in Watertown. Additionally, the Riverside Community Care program also organized an inner-office drive to collect no-longer-used wireless phones from Riverside programs located throughout Massachusetts.

Riverside Community Care has worked for more than three decades to build a non-profit healthcare and human services system that enables individuals who experience mental illness and developmental and cognitive disabilities, to live within the community, even when faced with daunting challenges. The company each year provides care to more than 13,000 individuals in more than 60 communities throughout the state of Massachusetts.

"We organized the phone recycling program in Belmont to help others," said Louisa Gabriel, director of Residential Services from Riverside Community Care. "The individuals in our care, as well as those facilities staffed by Riverside, understand the benefit of community involvement."

"Working with Verizon Wireless gave us an opportunity as a group to help others, while also providing a sense of accomplishment and reward to the clients in our care who helped put the drive together."

The Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program focuses on putting wireless products and services to work to curb domestic violence and assist in emergency situations. The company provides services and support to shelters, law enforcement agencies and court advocacies directly involved in protecting and rebuilding the lives of people dealing with domestic violence.

Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless collects no-longer-used wireless phones, which are then refurbished or recycled and sold. The funds raised from the sale of refurbished phones are used to purchase wireless phones, combined with prepaid airtime per phone, for survivors of domestic violence. An added benefit is that no-longer-used phones and batteries are recycled in an environmentally-friendly fashion.

In addition to phones with service, Verizon Wireless' New England region also makes available $1,000 HopeLine grants, wireless voicemail service and free, in-person workshops called Invest In Yourself-- conducted by trained Human Resource professionals who give survivors of domestic violence information, tips and basic training towards financial independence during the life transition process.

Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit survivors of domestic violence, non-profit domestic violence agencies, law enforcement organizations and court advocacies. Since the national recycling program began in October, 2001, HopeLine has collected nearly 2.5 million phones, distributed more than $8 million in financial grants, and donated more than 20,000 phones with airtime and other services for survivors of domestic violence. In 2005 alone, the company's New England region was able to donate more than $225,000 in wireless phones, airtime, and cash grants to qualified organizations as a result of the program. More information about the HopeLine program can be found at: www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, 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.