News Release

Entrepreneurship Grants Available For Domestic Violence Survivors In Virginia, MD And DC

Verizon Wireless Funds Unique Program to Serve as Small Business Incubator

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August 25, 2011

Melanie Ortel
Melanie.Ortel@VerizonWireless.com
240-568-1429
Twitter: @VZWMelanie

Sherri Cunningham
202-364-5856

LAUREL, MD — Verizon Wireless is providing $25,000 in grants for aspiring Virginia, Maryland and DC entrepreneurs who have escaped the cycle of domestic abuse. Whether it’s a startup catering company, a new retail establishment, a consulting firm, or another entrepreneurial endeavor, Verizon Wireless is offering survivors of domestic violence who are ready to put their small business dreams into action the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 from the Verizon Wireless HopeLine programs. Those interested in applying can email: hopelinesmallbizwbv@verizonwireless.com to request a grant application.

“Domestic violence devastates families and communities,” said Mike Maiorana, regional president for the Virginia/D.C./Maryland region of Verizon Wireless. “The Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program from Verizon Wireless recognizes that the character traits and problem-solving skills which survivors relied upon to escape the cycle of violence are identical to the skills needed to successfully bring an entrepreneurial venture to life. We hope to enable survivors to use their creativity, determination, and resilience to step into an entrepreneurial role and achieve economic independence.”

The HopeLine Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program was established in 2010 as a pilot program for residents of New York State. In June 2011, the program launched in Virginia, and is now being expanded to Maryland and the District of Columbia due to strong interest from survivors in these neighboring locations.

Since 2001, HopeLine, Verizon Wireless’ nationwide phone recycling program, has collected more than 8 million phones nationwide, awarded more than $10 million in cash grants to domestic violence prevention groups and kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills. HopeLine donations are accepted at Verizon Wireless stores, by mail, or in special collections. Among other initiatives, HopeLine grants have provided college scholarships for a deceased victim’s two young children and video technology to enable domestic violence’s youngest victims, children, to participate in legal proceedings from a remote, private setting instead of a public courtroom.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including more than 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 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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