First Lady Dianne Bentley and executives from Verizon Wireless on Wednesday announced continued efforts to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence with the goal of empowering victims and eliminating the violence.
Mrs. Bentley will be featured in a public service announcement that will begin airing this week on television stations in Birmingham and Montgomery. The public service announcement raises awareness of domestic violence and encourages people to donate their used phones to HopeLine.
HopeLine is Verizon Wireless' national cell phone recycling and re-use program. HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless devices and accessories - all models, from all wireless carriers - which can then be refurbished, recycled and/or sold. Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence via cash grants to domestic violence counseling and support agencies. Also, refurbished phones - complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service - are provided to local domestic violence organizations or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.
"Domestic violence is an often-overlooked issue that affects every community, so I have embraced domestic violence awareness and prevention as one of the causes that I will support as First Lady," Mrs. Bentley said. "I was excited to discover that Verizon Wireless has a program in place that gives Alabamians the opportunity to contribute to this important cause by simply donating your old phone. The more phones we collect in Alabama, the more we can do to prevent abuse."
In addition to helping Verizon Wireless spread the word about HopeLine, Mrs. Bentley has led efforts to collect more than 4,000 phones for HopeLine throughout this year. Most recently, on Wednesday, Mrs. Bentley donated nearly 1,200 phones to the HopeLine outreach. Verizon Wireless recognized First Lady Bentley with a 2012 HopeLine Hero Award earlier this year for her efforts on behalf of this cause.
Mrs. Bentley has also worked with the Alabama Department of Corrections to have phones that have been confiscated from inmates donated to HopeLine rather than the phones being destroyed.
"The Department of Corrections was pleased to help the First Lady in such a worthwhile cause that, unfortunately, impacts so many Alabamians," Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said. "Since learning of HopeLine and Mrs. Bentley's involvement, our correctional staff has confiscated and is donating more than 1,500 cell phones confiscated from inmates in our prisons. By helping with the First Lady's effort to raise awareness, the staff at the Department of Corrections is directly helping our fellow Alabamians who are harmed by their experiences with domestic violence. "
"It is an honor to work with First Lady Bentley as well as with the many domestic violence organizations across Alabama that work tirelessly to provide assistance to victims and help prevent more Alabamians from being victimized," said Jonathan LeCompte, president - Georgia/Alabama region, Verizon Wireless. "We look forward to seeing an increase in phone donations and, in turn, being able to provide more grant dollars to those deserving organizations."
Members of the public are urged to join the donation effort. People can donate a phone at any Verizon Wireless store or by mail. To print a prepaid HopeLine mailing label, simply go to www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
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