Verizon Wireless and Bills help end domestic violence through HopeLine program

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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 New England Patriots.  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 eleventh 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 nearly 7,000 phones in the eleven 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 HopeLine spokespersons, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and linebacker Andra Davis, encourage 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 both Williams and Davis.  Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.

In addition, for each fan who "checks in" at Ralph Wilson Stadium via Foursquare on game day with #HOPELINE, Verizon will donate $10 to the Family Justice Center.

"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, Verizon Wireless' Upstate 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."

"The Family Justice Center has seen more than 7,000 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. 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."

"We 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," said Williams.

"We are proud to support this important community issue and know that Bills fans will continue their tremendous support of the HopeLine program, like they do our team on the field," said Davis.

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 16th year in 2011, *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 verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

*Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 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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