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Thousands commit to #WalkwithFrancis in advance of Pope’s first visit to U.S.

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Pope Francis is about to visit our nation's capital! As if that wasn't exciting enough, his last stop in Washington, DC is to visit more than 500 of the people Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington helps each day. We immediately began thinking about how to welcome him and celebrate his spectacular actions that have touched so many and inspired people around the world. Thus was born the #WalkwithFrancis campaign, a pledge program that challenges the community to reach out to those in need through prayer, service and advocacy. Anyone can join the pledge at

The #WalkwithFrancis pledge program is open to people of all faiths and all walks of life, and so far, it’s getting an enthusiastic response from the community. We’ve received more than 81,000 pledges, including Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky,  Washington Capital John Carlson, and now Verizon.

We are thrilled that Verizon is participating in the #WalkwithFrancis campaign by launching a HopeLine phone recycling drive, with proceeds to be donated to Catholic Charities and our family peace initiative to help those in our community afflicted by domestic violence. To have the support and energy Verizon brings to serving those whose lives are affected by domestic violence is very important and a great example of what #WalkwithFrancis is all about.

I hope you’ll take the #WalkwithFrancis pledge, as the program offers something to everyone, no matter your faith. If you have a passion for animals, you can pledge to volunteer at a shelter. If you are inspired to aid the homeless, you can become an advocate. And if you have an old cell phone, you can recycle it through HopeLine and help promote family peace. Whether you carry out your pledge through prayer, service or action, you’ll be making a difference.