CARBONDALE, IL — Verizon Wireless recently awarded a $2,000 HopeLine® grant to The Women’s Center, Inc., a southern Illinois-based organization that offers a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The funds were applied to organizational costs associated with the agency’s annual “Take Back the Night” event – held again this year in Carbondale on Oct. 24.
Specifically, The Women’s Center used Verizon Wireless’ grant to cover the cost of speaker fees, printing of T-shirts, food and miscellaneous event supplies.
“Awareness is the first step in combating domestic violence,” said Lou Sigillo, president – Kansas/Missouri/Southern Illinois region, Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless makes it a priority to support organizations like The Women’s Center because they work so tirelessly to not only give those victimized by domestic violence the assistance they need to become survivors but also to build community awareness of this issue so we may one day live in a safer, gentler society.”
Carbondale area “Take Back the Night” festivities included a “Healing Hearts” project for adults, arts and crafts for children, a community march, a display of the “Clothesline Project” featuring more than 300 shirts made by local survivors or made by others in memory of an individual whose life was taken by violence, a keynote speaker, music, and an opportunity for people to speak out against domestic and sexual violence.
“Verizon Wireless has been a long-time supporter of The Women’s Center and an advocate for domestic violence prevention,” said Cathy McClanahan, executive director of The Women’s Center, Inc. “We could not continue our effort toward ending domestic violence and sexual assault without help from businesses such as Verizon Wireless.”
McClanahan explained the annual event’s purpose, saying “For survivors of violence, ‘Take Back the Night’ is a time to celebrate their strength and recognize that they are not alone. For families and friends of survivors, it is an opportunity to show support for their loved ones. For people who work with survivors of violence, it is a time to reaffirm their commitment to ending violence. For the community, it is a time to stand up and speak out against violence.”
The Women’s Center’s grant was made possible by Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program, which turns no-longer-used wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence. Wireless phones, batteries and other accessories are collected, regardless of wireless service provider, at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide and in special collections throughout the year. The phones are either refurbished for reuse or recycled in an environmentally sound way.
Since October 2001, when Verizon Wireless launched its national recycling program, HopeLine has collected more than 5.3 million phones and awarded more than $5.6 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations throughout the country.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 70.8 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 71,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.