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Bills connect with Verizon Wireless to end domestic violence

The Buffalo Bills and Verizon Wireless urge fans to bring their no-longer-used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence at the Bills game vs. the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Through Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program, these phones will be refurbished and recycled or sold. Proceeds will be used to purchase wireless phones for domestic violence victims to use in emergency or threatening situations. HopeLine also makes financial grants to domestic violence organizations. This is the eighth year the Bills and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to fight domestic violence in our communities.

Bills linebacker and new HopeLine spokesperson, Kawika Mitchell, kicked off the HopeLine program by signing autographs on special HopeLine posters at the Verizon Wireless Kiosk at the Galleria Mall on Tuesday. Enthusiastic fans showed up in droves as Mitchell signed until everyone was taken care of, posed for pictures and thanked fans for their support of the team and the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program.

Mitchell encourages fans to bring their old wireless phones to the game and deposit them in collection bins at any of the 10 gates as they enter Ralph Wilson Stadium. The first 1,000 fans to donate a phone will receive a Kawika Mitchell poster. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and kickoff is at 1:00 p.m.

Prior to kickoff, the 8th Annual HopeLine Award Ceremony will acknowledge Cindy Manne of Catholic Charities in Kenmore and Carole Wink of Chances and Changes, Inc. in Livingston County, who both have assisted victims of this tragedy within their communities. Manne and Wink will be presented with plaques and $2,500 will be donated on their behalf to both Catholic Charities and Chances and Changes.

"I'm proud to be involved with HopeLine and hope to make a difference," said Mitchell. "With support from our fans we can give victims of domestic violence a lifeline to help in an emergency and work together to bring an end to this serious community issue. By simply donating a used phone either at the game this Sunday, or anytime at any Verizon Wireless location, you are helping to open the lines of communication and potentially save lives."

"By doing something as simple as donating a wireless phone you no longer use, you can truly make a difference for a victim of domestic violence," said Marquett Smith, Verizon Wireless' Update New York Region president. "HopeLine focuses on helping our communities prevent domestic violence, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to use wireless technology for this important purpose."

Phone donations from any wireless service provider are accepted at all Verizon Wireless stores across the country. For additional information, please visit

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