|Verizon's Hopeline Raises 2K For Freeman Center|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
04:30PM / Friday, December 14, 2012
Mike Murphy of Verizon, Janis Broderick of the Elizabeth Freeman Center and District Attorney David Capeless announced the donation on Friday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Verizon presented the Elizabeth Freeman Center with a $2,000 check Friday to help fight domestic violence.
For the sixth year, Verizon has teamed up with the district attorney's office to collect old cell phones.
The cell phones are then broken apart and the parts are resold. The money goes to building new cell phones for victims of domestic violence — so they can call for help — or donations to groups fighting domestic violence.
"Just as we invest in our stores and invest in our technology, we invest in our communities," Verizon spokesman Mike Murphy said, adding that groups fighting against domestic violence has become the company's "chief" philanthropy.
This year hundreds of cell phones were collected in Berkshire County, which was capped off with the $2,000 donation plus Hopeline phones for the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
"Domestic violence is not just a criminal justice or safety issue. It is a community issue," District Attorney David Capeless said. "This not only raises awareness in the community but it engages the community."
In six years, Verizon has donated more than $7,000 through the program, the bulk of which went to the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
"As the demand increases, we see government funding declining," Executive Director Janis Broderick said of the need for donations.
Broderick said it is "incredible" the amount of phones the organizations gives out to victims and how useful they've become. But the bigger benefit is the awareness the Hopeline program creates.
"It's not just about raising money but it keeps the prevalence of domestic violence on everyone's mind," she said.