News Release

Northeast Michigan Domestic Violence Survivors Benefit From Verizon Wireless Grant

Shelter Inc. Receives $10,000 Grant in Support of Renovations to Laundry Facilities and Safe Shelter Services

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September 9, 2010

Michelle Gilbert
Michelle.Gilbert@VerizonWireless.com  
248-915-3680

Jennifer L. Cherry
jcherry@marxlayne.com  
248-855-6777

ALPENA, MI — Domestic violence survivors and their children in northeast Michigan will benefit from a $10,000 donation made by Verizon Wireless to Shelter Inc., a domestic violence organization serving Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties.

The grant will assist in the renovation of the agency’s aging laundry facilities. Many resident survivors must seek assistance from staff members when using laundry facilities, which are housed in the 100-year-old Alpena safe house basement. The Verizon Wireless-supported renovations will allow easier access to these facilities, particularly for survivors with mobility challenges and small children. The funds from this grant are also expected to help with the purchase of items for the Alpena safe house, including kitchen, bath and bed linens; cookware and dishes; as well as transportation and childcare needs.

Since the inception of Shelter Inc., its service area, as well as its array of services, has broadened immensely to address a full spectrum of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors’ needs and social change endeavors. The agency has been providing safe shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1977.

“Because of Verizon Wireless’ generosity, Shelter Inc. will be able to offer specific necessities and advance new projects for survivors which no existing grant funding was available to previously support,” said Sandra Pilgrim-Lewis, executive director of Shelter Inc. “As a second-year grant recipient, we can attest to the positive impact these funds have on the survivors we serve and the lives they change.”

In 2009, Shelter Inc. was awarded a $5,000 grant from Verizon Wireless. These funds were used to establish the agency’s new employment and life skills center, including furniture and necessary office equipment and supplies.

“Verizon Wireless understands that access to safe shelter can be a matter of life or death,” said Lisa Mecheau, manager, Alpena Verizon Wireless Communications Store. “Our company is committed to the communities where our customers and employees live and work and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in Alpena and across northeast Michigan.”

The $10,000 gift was made possible by the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program, which converts no-longer-used wireless phones into support for survivors of domestic violence.

Since HopeLine’s national phone recycling and re-use program was launched in 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 7 million phones, distributed more than 90,000 phones with the equivalent of more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by domestic violence survivors, and awarded more than $7.9 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and organizations throughout the country.

In Michigan last year, Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation donated more than $63,000 in cash grants as well as phones and airtimes to local domestic violence agencies and shelters.

HopeLine wireless phone donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the nation, including the location at 2389 U.S. Highway 23 South in Alpena. Verizon Wireless encourages everyone who plans to give a phone to HopeLine to make sure service on that device has been discontinued and to erase any personal data on the phone. Phones given to the HopeLine program are refurbished and resold for reuse or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.

For more information on the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon Wireless in Michigan
In Michigan, Verizon Wireless has more than 2,100 employees and 65 company-owned retail locations in more than 40 cities, including Allen Park, Alpena, Alpine Twp., Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Battle Creek, Bay City, Brighton, Burton, Canton, Clinton Twp., Dearborn, Detroit, East Lansing, Farmington Hills, Fenton, Flint, Fort Gratiot, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Highland Park, Holland, Jackson, Kentwood, Lake Orion, Lansing, Livonia, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Northville, Novi, Okemos, Petoskey, Pontiac, Portage, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, Saginaw, St. Clair Shores, St. Joseph, Southfield, Taylor, Traverse City, Troy, Utica, Warren and Westland.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: 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.

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