ORANGEBURG, NY — When three-time Latin Grammy Award winner Calle 13 hit the stage in New York City this week to introduce their latest SONY BMG album "Residente o Vistitante," fans enjoyed more than just vibrant Latin hip hop music. Verizon Wireless, a major sponsor of SONY BMG's 2007 Latin Album Release Series and a recognized leader for its commitment to preventing domestic violence, donated $5,000 to Sanctuary for Families, offering integrated legal, clinical, shelter and economic stability services exclusively to domestic violence victims in all five boroughs of New York City.
The $5,000 HopeLine® grant was Verizon Wireless' second in a series of five earmarked for New York area domestic violence organizations in conjunction with the SONY BMG Latin Album Series. The first SONY BMG HopeLine donation came in February, when Mexican-based pop rock band La Quinta Estacion launched its third album. Other SONY BMG artists in the series who will join with Verizon Wireless to present HopeLine grants are Jennifer Lopez in June, Alejandra Guzman in August and Alejandro Fernandez in September.
"The SONY BMG album release series presents a perfect opportunity to marry our Latino marketing efforts with our HopeLine community service program," said Rob Davis, associate director of marketing for the company's New York Metro region. "It is our hope that high profile events like these will help us remove the shroud of silence surrounding domestic violence, especially as it impacts the young people who follow these artists."
Guests invited to each of the release parties are encouraged to bring old, no-longer used wireless phones, batteries and accessories for donation to the company's HopeLine wireless phone recycling program. HopeLine collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally sound manner.
Verizon Wireless was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cellphones and has done so since January 1999 first in New York and then across the U.S. Wireless phone donations continue to be accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications Store locations in New York City, throughout the New York Metro area and across the country.
Sanctuary for Families, the largest such agency in New York, is committed to reaching out to the most underserved communities including the City's immigrant population. Because a large percentage of clients are Latina, Sanctuary provides domestic violence victims and their children with all direct services in Spanish. Spanish-language support groups offer clients the opportunity to share experiences and gain strength from each other.
"All of us at Sanctuary are enormously grateful for the commitment that Verizon Wireless has made to domestic violence victims through its HopeLine program," said Laurel W. Eisner, Sanctuary's executive director. "It has truly been a lifeline for many victims, allowing them to get the help they need and to feel less alone."
Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program has collected more than 3.5 million wireless phones, and given more than $3 million in cash grants and nearly 40,000 phones to domestic violence prevention organizations. Local HopeLine grants include $120,000 already donated to the New York City Family Justice Center Initiative.
"Each of us can have an impact on someone's life," Davis said. "Donating an old, unused cell phone is a simple act but it can help provide support to victims who all too often suffer in silence."
In addition to a successful phone recycling program and funding for non-profit domestic violence organizations, HopeLine includes free wireless service and voice mailboxes for survivors, community and corporate awareness initiatives, and a bilingual "Invest in Yourself" program designed to help survivors re-enter the workforce.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodaphone (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.####