CHICAGO– First Lady Patti Blagojevich today joined State Representative Monique D. Davis (D-Chicago) and representatives from Verizon Wireless in an effort to bring awareness to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which collects previously owned cellular phones and uses them to provide resources for local domestic violence prevention. The phones are refurbished and sold, with the proceeds going to local shelters. Newer phones in good condition are donated, along with wireless airtime, to domestic violence victims so they can stay protected by keeping in touch with family members and law enforcement.
“Domestic Violence is a devastating crime that happens everyday,” said First Lady Patti Blagojevich. “We must put an end to violence against women. I am here, just days before Mother’s Day, to raise awareness of the pain and suffering caused by this brutal crime. I urge anyone with a wireless phone that can be spared to please donate it to Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program. By joining together, we can help fight domestic violence. The HopeLine program is important not only because it raises awareness of domestic violence, but also because it works to prevent further occurrences of domestic violence by providing victims and individuals with the resources they need to protect themselves.”
The HopeLine program, which is in its tenth year, collects wireless phones and accessories from wireless service providers and users, refurbishes or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way and sells them, with proceeds being donated to a variety of national and local violence prevention programs. By the end of 2004, Verizon Wireless had collected approximately two million phones and donated over $1 million to domestic violence prevention programs. In addition, recycling non-functioning phones has kept over 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
“Protecting the health and well-being of women is at the top of our minds,” said Representative Monique D. Davis. “I am honored to partner with Verizon Wireless and First Lady Patti Blagojevich to help raise awareness and money for local efforts to prevent violence against women.”
The news conference was held today at Rep. Davis’s Chicago District Office. Also in attendance were representatives from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Clara’s House (a local women’s shelter), the Crisis Center of South Suburbia, and Advocate Christ Medical Center. A representative from Christ Medical Center announced the hospital’s plan to create a program to encourage their nearly 4,000 employees to donate wireless phones no longer in use to the HopeLine program.
Anyone interested in donating used wireless phones to the HopeLine program may bring them to Representative Monique D. Davis’s constituent office or the Office of Governor Rod Blagojevich. Representative Davis’s office is located at 1234 W. 95th Street, Chicago, Illinois. Governor Blagojevich’s Chicago office is located at 100 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1600, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Illinois 60601. The Governor’s Springfield office is located at 207 State House, Springfield, Illinois 62706. Phones can also be brought into any Verizon Wireless store, or mailed directly to Verizon Wireless HopeLine, c/o ReCellular Inc, 2555 Bishop Circle W. Dexter, MI 48130. Victims of domestic violence are urged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for referrals to shelters, counselors, and other information, or 911 if there is an emergency.
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