BRUNSWICK, ME — Governor John Baldacci joined Verizon Wireless today to help the company launch its 2003 HopeLineSM program against domestic violence in Maine, where the company is donating $2003 to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) and 100 wireless phones for emergency use by abuse victims throughout Maine, while also launching a state-wide wireless phone recycling program to benefit victims of abuse.
Verizon Wireless will also donate 50 HopeLine phones, to be distributed to the 16 County Sheriff's Departments and eight State Trooper barracks in Maine since law enforcement officers are usually the first to respond to domestic violence calls. Police will provide the victims' with phones to be able to call for help if confronted by an abuser. Many victims do not have home phones because they are frequently removed by an abuser during domestic violence incidents.
Speaking today at the Verizon Wireless Brunswick Communications Store, Governor Baldacci voiced his support for the company's efforts to assist victims of domestic violence.
"I am very much aware of the plight of Maine families who have been devastated by domestic violence," said Baldacci. "My administration is committed to supporting programs that raise awareness about, and prevention of, domestic violence in the state. Verizon Wireless has demonstrated its commitment to assisting Maine's victims of domestic violence by providing them with the ability to call for help if an abuser is posing an imminent risk."
The Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program collects no-longer used wireless phones and equipment to be refurbished, recycled or sold, and then uses the proceeds to purchase wireless phones for victims of domestic violence or to support domestic violence prevention organizations.
"Verizon Wireless is committed to raising awareness of domestic violence, and to providing communication lifelines to victims when their safety and that of their children, is threatened," said Bob Stott, president, Verizon Wireless' New England Region. "People can help by recycling their no longer used wireless phones, instead of discarding them, by bringing them to any Verizon Wireless store in Maine when they no longer need it, or upgrade to a new handset."
MCEDV provides victims of domestic abuse, and their children, with public education and school-based prevention programs, training for volunteers, monitoring of batterers' intervention programs and development of public policy that protects and empowers.
"While the numbers we serve are high, we also suspect many cases go unreported," said MCEDV Director Kimberly Roberts. "More than half of the women in Maine will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. We're impressed Verizon Wireless understands the problem of domestic violence and is reaching out to help in meaningful ways. Their generous donation is greatly appreciated," added Roberts.
Verizon Wireless was presented today with more than 300 no longer used wireless phones collected from Mid Coast residents through the efforts of groups represented on the Working Group on Family Violence and from employees of Bath Iron Works. The collection drive was coordinated by the United Way of Mid Coast Maine.
"United Way of Mid Coast Maine is very pleased to have helped coordinate the connection with Verizon Wireless and this outstanding effort to help victims of domestic violence," said Maria Syphers of United Way's FIRST CALL program. "We want to thank Verizon Wireless and everyone who will or already has donated a used wireless phone to HopeLine. Special thanks to the generous employees of Bath Iron Works who donated more than 250 phones."
Verizon Wireless' four Maine Communications Stores will serve as drop-off locations for wireless phones of any make, model or age that are no longer in use. Phone donations may be tax-deductible. Phones may also be shipped to Verizon Wireless HopeLine c/o ReCellular Inc. 2555 Bishop Circle West, Dexter, MI 48130.
Local ME-based Verizon Wireless Communications Stores/Drop Off Points
352 Center Street
203 Bath Road
South Portland, ME
The Maine Mall, 364 Main Mall Road
771 Roosevelt Trail
For more information, call Duncan Milloy at 201-689-2209 or visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence can be reached at 207-941-1194.
Note to Editor: HopeLine donation posters are available in PDF format as graphic support. For posters or photos, contact Duncan Milloy at email@example.com or call 201-689-2209.
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 32.5 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.