HopeLine From Verizon Donates $50,000 To Kentucky Commission on Women Following First Month Of Statewide Used Mobile-Phone Drive
Grant to Fund WorkSafe Domestic Violence Education for Businesses

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — First Lady Jane Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Madeline Abramson, chair of the Kentucky Commission on Women (KCW), as well as more than a dozen state and local officials, gathered today for a $50,000 grant presentation to the KCW. The grant follows the first month of a statewide HopeLine® from Verizon drive in which 18 state agencies and numerous other participants have collected old phones and accessories. HopeLine turned the devices into the cash grant to fund the WorkSafe program, which provides domestic violence prevention training for Kentucky businesses.

The KCW Statewide HopeLine® Drive began Oct. 1 and continues through Nov. 30. Used phone drop off locations include 18 state agencies (see list below), 13 University of Kentucky sororities and 16 fraternities, and The Mary Byron Project, a partner in the WorkSafe program. The 24 KCW Commissioners also are collecting devices. In addition to the grant, Verizon Wireless provided HopeLine® from Verizon collection boxes and posters, along with free shipping for all collected devices.

“Nearly 87 percent of U.S. companies have yet to develop a policy to address domestic violence in the workplace, and that’s something we’re working to improve in partnership with HopeLine so that Kentucky can lead the way,” said Gov. Steve Beshear, citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Domestic violence too often goes undiscussed in the workplace, but this HopeLine grant ensures that businesses throughout the Commonwealth will begin talking about the issue, and better supporting the employees who face abuse every day.”

“Most of us have old cell phones or chargers around the house that we no longer use,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “Steve and I encourage all Kentuckians to join us in the effort to help the nearly one in four women and one in seven men, who will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetimes.”

“HopeLine from Verizon helps survivors of domestic violence regain their voices both symbolically and through the power of a phone to call for help,” said Lauren Love-Wright, president of Verizon Wireless for Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana. “In addition to turning donated phones and accessories into cash grants for domestic violence agencies, Verizon donates phones to shelters for survivors to use. The phones help survivors feel safer and less isolated, and give them a way to call emergency or support services, employers, family and friends.”

“The goal of the drive was to collect 3,500 used cell phones and accessories, one for each night that an adult or child spent in a domestic violence shelter in Kentucky last year,” said KCW Chair Madeline Abramson. “We hope to reach our goal during these next two weeks by continuing to collect devices and accessories. Special thanks to Kentuckians who donated devices, and to all of the organizations and state agencies joining the drive. Please take one last look in your closets and drawers, because every device dropped off in a HopeLine from Verizon box helps someone dealing with abuse.”

Through the WorkSafe program, the Mary Byron Project works with KCW and Kentucky State Police to train business leaders throughout the Commonwealth to become proactive about supporting employees who are dealing with domestic violence. The program teaches employers why it’s in their best interest to have policies addressing domestic abuse and how to implement safe practices for those who are at risk. The goal is to help businesses of all sizes create safer workplaces while reducing the economic, legal and productivity risks in the workplace that are associated with domestic violence.

Mary Byron Project Executive Director Marcia Roth said, “You can’t assume that domestic violence is not happening in your workplace. People may not see the signs of physical abuse, but it’s far more common than we think, and far more costly to employee productivity than most businesses understand. Employers who take advantage of WorkSafe training will have a better grasp of the issue, and better tools for supporting workers dealing with abuse at home and ensuring that their workplace is safe for all employees.”

HopeLine® from Verizon turns no-longer-used wireless devices and accessories – in any condition from any provider – into cash grants and other support for domestic violence programs. With today’s grant, Verizon has given more than $158,000 for domestic violence prevention and response in Kentucky in 2014. Since HopeLine was launched in 2001, the program has collected more than 10.8 million phones nationwide, awarded more than $21.4 million in cash grants and distributed more than 180,000 phones with nearly 544 million free minutes and 207 million text messages to shelters for use by survivors. Donated devices that cannot be refurbished and resold are disposed of in accordance with Verizon’s zero-landfill policy.

Verizon customers who are being abused or who are concerned about signs of potential abuse in a friend or loved one can dial #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone to reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233 [SAFE] and TTY 1-800-787-3224). During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon will donate $3 to domestic violence prevention programs for each purple HopeLine-branded accessory sold.

About the Kentucky Commission on Women: The Kentucky Commission on Women is dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls in the Commonwealth, empowering them to overcome barriers to equity, and expanding opportunities to achieve their fullest potential.

About The Mary Byron Project: The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of the young woman whose tragic murder led to the creation of automated crime victim notification technologies. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities.

About Verizon Wireless: Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. As the largest wireless company in the U.S., Verizon Wireless serves 103.3 million retail customers, including 97.3 million retail postpaid customers. Verizon Wireless is wholly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. For the latest news and updates about Verizon Wireless, visit our News Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNews.

List of Kentucky Agencies participating in the KCW Statewide HopeLine Drive:
Cabinet for Economic Development
Education and Workforce Development
Energy and Environment Cabinet
Finance and Administration Cabinet
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Labor Cabinet
Department of Military Affairs
Personnel Cabinet
Public Protection Cabinet
Office of State Budget Director
Office of Technology
Tourism, Arts & Heritage
Transportation Cabinet
Department for Local Government
Council on Postsecondary Education
Kentucky Office of Homeland Security
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of the Governor/KCW

Media Contact: McKenzi Loid, 502-625-1638 (office), 502-649-6565 (mobile)
SOURCE Verizon Wireless