Delaware is known as “Small Wonder,” a nod to the influence and power of the state despite its small size. Embracing this sense of pride and ambition is Delaware resident Gary Donahue, solutions manager for Verizon Wireless. Based in Wilmington, Delaware, Donahue makes Verizon Wireless’ philanthropic mission both personal and local.
For the past four years, Donahue has collaborated with government stakeholders, community leaders and local organizations to host widely-attended community events to raise awareness of domestic violence and rally his close-knit community to help end the plight. He does so through relentless passion and year-long planning.
As the father of two young children, Donahue has always had a heart for helping others and caring for those in need.
“I just felt that I had the power to give back,” Donahue said.
Donahue organized his first community awareness event in Dover, Delaware in 2011 with most of his planning efforts taking place from a hospital room, as he faced liver disease and awaited a transplant. Thanks to his upstanding reputation in the community and devotion to the cause that ran strong, Donahue managed to pull off a successful event that served as a springboard for the following two years’ events in Dover.
During the events, community leaders and dignitaries gathered together to promote change, offering information on the issue and recommendations for taking action. Community members were encouraged to bring in devices to donate to the HopeLine from Verizon Wireless program that supports regional domestic violence prevention. Victim support organizations, such as the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and La Esperanza, were also on hand to provide insight to victims and their needs.
At his Verizon Wireless store, Donahue even showcases a collection of artwork he curated in support of his missing to end domestic violence. The pieces, created by domestic violence survivors, convey how technology has played a part in their journeys to safety. It’s the little touches like this that Donahue believes can influence a member of the community to take action.
In October, Donahue will lead his fourth community event – this time in Wilmington, Delaware – to further educate community members and gain their support in ending domestic violence.
“It’s such a privilege for me, as a Verizon Wireless employee, to take a little bit of my own time and put forth my own efforts to make a difference locally,” Donahue said. “I hope people around me will see what I do and it will have an impact.”