BUFFALO, NY — Verizon Wireless and the Buffalo Bills will collect no-longer-used wireless phones to benefit domestic violence survivors at this Sunday's Bills game vs. the New Orleans Saints. Through Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® program, these phones will be refurbished and recycled or sold. Proceeds will be used to purchase wireless phones for domestic violence survivors to use in emergency or threatening situations. HopeLine also makes financial grants to domestic violence organizations. This is the ninth year the Bills and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to fight domestic violence in our communities.
Bills linebacker and HopeLine spokesperson, Kawika Mitchell, encourages fans to bring their old wireless phones to the game and deposit them in collection bins at any of the 10 gates as they enter Ralph Wilson Stadium. The first 1,000 fans to donate a phone will receive a poster featuring Mitchell. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m. Gates open at 2:30 p.m.
Prior to kickoff, the ninth annual HopeLine Award Ceremony will take place. The award will acknowledge Jennifer Shaw of Vera House, Inc. a domestic violence victims' advocacy agency and shelter in Syracuse, N.Y. As the director of the not for profit's Project EMERGE program, Shaw improves services for domestic and sexual violence victims who are deaf or have a disability. She will be presented with a plaque honoring her efforts and $2,500 will be donated on her behalf to Vera House.
"For nine years, Buffalo Bills fans have helped make a difference by doing something as simple as donating a wireless phone that's no longer used," said Marquett Smith, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "HopeLine focuses on helping our communities prevent domestic violence, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to use wireless technology for this important purpose."
"With support from our fans, we can give domestic violence survivors a lifeline to help in an emergency and work together to bring an end to this serious community issue," said Mitchell. "By bringing an old phone to the game this Sunday, or anytime at any Verizon Wireless location, you are helping to open the lines of communication and potentially save lives."
Verizon Wireless, a recognized corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, works to combat domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue through the company's HopeLine program. Marking its 14th year in 2009, HopeLine today collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies, providing the essential communication tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants. Phone donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless stores across the country. For additional information, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving 87.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 87,000 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.####