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Verizon Wireless and Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley Team Up with Alabama Sororities to Increase Awareness of Domestic Violence During HOPEWEEK

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, First Lady Dianne Bentley and Verizon Wireless have teamed up with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV) for a statewide grant competition between a pair of national sororities. Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Chi Omega across the state of Alabama will compete against each other during HOPEWEEK, a week-long awareness initiative that will flood participating campuses with purple ribbons.

During HOPEWEEK, which will take place October 7-13, participating sorority chapters will distribute purple awareness ribbons to supporters on campuses around the state. In addition, sorority chapters will work to collect signatures for an online cause statement at www.HOPEWEEKAL.com as well as collecting unused cell phones for HopeLine®, Verizon's national recycling program that collects no-longer-used wireless devices and accessories to be refurbished and recycled and/or sold with all proceeds benefitting victims of domestic violence. Since HopeLine launched in October of 2001, Verizon has funded more than $14.2 million in cash grants for domestic violence organizations across the country and distributed more than 123,000 HopeLine phones with the equivalent of more than 406 million minutes.

The sorority chapter that delivers the most signatures and phones will win a $2,500 Verizon HopeLine grant for the ACADV member organization of their choice. As an added incentive this year, the chapter with the most overall points will be invited to meet First Lady Bentley, a Verizon Wireless 2012 HopeLine Hero Award winner for championing the cause against domestic violence, and tour the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery.

"We are extremely excited that First Lady Bentley will be joining us to champion this issue and drive awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month," said Carol Gundlach, Executive Director of ACADV. "We were proud to help introduce HOPEWEEK in 2011, and after a hugely successful campaign in its first year, HOPEWEEK 2012 is poised to provide even more much-needed dollars to help support domestic violence victims and survivors."

"First Lady Bentley's involvement with this event is a tremendous privilege," said Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama region, Verizon Wireless. "She has provided unbelievable support for this cause, and her efforts, combined with those of the participating sorority chapters, will help raise awareness of and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence in Alabama."

Sorority chapters will spread the word about HOPEWEEK with on-campus activities and will also champion the cause via social media by posting photos of their campus events via Twitter or Instagram using the #HOPEWEEK hashtag. Organizations will receive one point for each signature collected, five bonus points for each unused cell phone they collect and another five points for each photo posted.

Participating sorority chapters and their adopted non-profits include:

  • Auburn University chapter of Alpha Chi Omega – Domestic Violence Intervention Center, Opelika
  • University of Alabama chapter of Alpha Chi Omega – Turning Point Shelter, Tuscaloosa
  • Alabama A&M University chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Crisis Services of North Alabama, Huntsville
  • Alabama State University chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Auburn University chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Domestic Violence Intervention Center, Opelika
  • Auburn University at Montgomery chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Family Sunshine Center, Montgomery
  • Birmingham-Southern College chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – YWCA Domestic Violence Services, Birmingham
  • Samford University chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – SafeHouse of Shelby County, Pelham
  • Talladega College chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – 2nd Chance, Anniston
  • Troy University chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – House of Ruth, Dothan
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – YWCA Domestic Violence Services, Birmingham
  • University of Alabama – Huntsville chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Kelley's Rainbow, Albertville
  • University of Montevallo chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – SafeHouse of Shelby County, Pelham
  • University of North Alabama chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Safeplace, Florence
  • University of South Alabama chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Penelope House, Mobile

For more information on HopeLine from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline. To request a HopeLine collection box for your organization, email givehope@hopelineal.com.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 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.

SOURCE Verizon Wireless