News Release

Verizon Wireless HopeLine Program Saves Lives, Improves Domestic Violence Victims' Safety and Security

Company Has Collected More Than 1.2 Million Used Wireless Phones And Donated $1.5 Million In Technology Solutions To Benefit Victims Of Domestic Violence

September 30, 2003

Andrea Linskey
andrea.linskey@verizonwireless.com
908-306-7845

BEDMINSTER, NJ — This Domestic Violence Awareness Month marks another year of progress Verizon Wireless has made in its philanthropic campaign against domestic violence. In a recent survey of participating agencies, victim's advocates rated the company's HopeLineSM program effective, with 42 percent of respondents characterizing the program as critical. In the first half of 2003 alone, Verizon Wireless donated more than $1.5 million in monetary and other contributions to domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations. Additionally, the company has collected more than 1.2 million no-longer-used wireless phones since 2001 that have been turned into lifelines and much-needed funds for domestic violence victims and advocacy organizations.

"Soon after receiving a phone, a client was found by her abuser," said Kathy Hubbard of SafeNet in Pennsylvania. "She contacted the Police at 2:30 AM and was assisted. This is a wonderful program which has life saving & life changing possibilities."

Participating organizations and abuse counselors unanimously indicated there was a new level of independence and freedom that HopeLine tools offer women in shelters. Wireless phones offer battered women 24-hour access to their advocacy organizations, regardless of their location, which is paramount to their safety and welfare.

HopeLine is a multi-faceted program, primarily focusing on the prevention of domestic violence and increasing community awareness of this national epidemic. Its cornerstone is the HopeLine phone recycling program, which sells or refurbishes wireless phones donated by program participants across the country and then provides wireless phones or funds to domestic violence advocacy organizations.

Recognizing how pervasive domestic violence is in the home and the workplace, Verizon Wireless has long been committed to promoting prevention and awareness programs and helping survivors in the life-rebuilding process. The U.S. Department of Justice's 2001 Report of Violence Against Women reports that 1 in 3 women will experience domestic or sexual violence in her lifetime.

The violence is not confined to the victims' homes; harassment and violence can occur in the workplace. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, domestic violence affects victims' productivity and performance on the job; 37 percent of women who experienced domestic violence report that the abuse had an impact on their work performance in the form of lateness, missed work, keeping a job or career promotions.

Along with individual donations to HopeLine, two major US corporations have joined the Verizon Wireless phone recycling crusade by encouraging employees to donate to HopeLine. General Electric's Elfun Society — a global organization of GE volunteers committed to improving the community through volunteerism, leadership, and camaraderie — held phone drives at office locations throughout the country this spring. In addition, Ernst & Young's environmental initiative EcoCare donated several hundred phones through two pilot programs and plans to expand those efforts around the country.

"Verizon Wireless has made an extraordinary, long term commitment to preventing domestic violence and helping victims," said Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler. "Verizon Wireless is a national leader in efforts to stop abuse. The company's HopeLine phone recycling program has helped keep thousands of women and their children safe, and its donations have meant more public education, more prevention, and more programs and shelters aiding battered women and their children. We are enormously grateful for the contribution that Verizon Wireless makes to stopping domestic violence."

"In a world where it's sometimes hard to find the time, money or creativity to help those in need, the HopeLine program offers a simple way for wireless users to get involved and address this complex problem," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. "Over the years, we've developed HopeLine programs to directly help those affected most by domestic violence — women, families and children. We urge and encourage others — from individual private citizens to large corporations — to get involved and help survivors in the life-rebuilding process."

Wireless phones and equipment donations are tax deductible and can be donated at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store or sent to:

    Verizon Wireless HopeLine
    c/o ReCellular Inc
    2555 Bishop Circle W.
    Dexter, MI 48130

For additional information, visit the redesigned HopeLine Web site at www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 34.6 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.  

About HopeLine
Verizon Wireless encourages customers who are upgrading their wireless phone to participate in its exclusive HopeLine phone recycling program. The national HopeLine program distributes previously owned wireless phones to victims of domestic violence, supports non-profit domestic violence advocacy groups and provides an environmentally safe method of recycling phones. Donations are accepted at all 1,200-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can also visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

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