Fans urged to donate used wireless phones

BUFFALO, NYVerizon Wireless, the Family Justice Center of Erie County and the Buffalo Bills will collect no-longer-used wireless phones to benefit domestic violence survivors at this Sunday's Bills game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars.  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 survivors to use in emergency or threatening situations, or to help find employment, locate housing or arrange for day care. *HopeLine *also makes financial grants to domestic violence organizations.

 This is the tenth year the Bills and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to fight domestic violence in our communities. The Family Justice Center of Erie County is also participating this year to help drive awareness of domestic violence as an important community issue. Verizon Wireless has collected more than 6,300 phones in the nine years they have done the collection. It is the most successful ongoing collection with a sports team in the history of the HopeLine program.

Bills linebacker and HopeLine spokesperson, Andra Davis, 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 poster featuring Davis.  Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.

"For ten years, Buffalo Bills fans have helped make a difference by doing something as simple as donating a wireless phone that's no longer used," said Russ Preite, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region.  "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."

"The Family Justice Center has seen some 5,000 clients since we opened our doors in May 2006," said Mary Travers Murphy, Family Justice Center executive director. "Therefore, we know how prevalent the problem of domestic violence is locally and in society in general. The *HopeLine *program goes a long way in helping us reach our number one goal: keeping our clients and all domestic violence victims safe. The support of Verizon Wireless is vital to our ability to provide the life-changing services we do."

"Through the Bills collection, we can give domestic violence survivors a lifeline to help in an emergency and work to bring an end to this serious community issue," said Davis. "I encourage fans to bring an old phone to the game this Sunday, or anytime at any Verizon Wireless location, and help to potentially save lives."**

Verizon Wireless, a recognized corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, works to combat domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue through the company's HopeLine program.  Marking its 15th year in 2010, *HopeLine *today collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way.  Proceeds from the *HopeLine *program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies, providing the essential communication tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants.  Phone donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless stores across the country.

For additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

*Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with  79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.*

The Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc. provides one-stop, free, wrap-around services to victims of domestic violence and their children. The Center is a collaboration of 12 on-site partners, including: Erie County District Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services, Crisis Services, Haven House, Hispanics United of Buffalo, International Institute of Buffalo, Child Advocacy Center, Erie County Probation and the University at Buffalo Department of Family Medicine.

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