Indiana’s First Lady Launches HopeLine from Verizon Phone Collection Drive

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When First Ladies gather, there’s no telling what amount of good can be done to create public awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October. Indiana’s First Lady Karen Pence said HopeLine from Verizon is just one way that state employees can make a difference.

Mrs. Pence made the first donation at the Indiana Statehouse at the start of the month as she dropped an old flip phone from Verizon into a HopeLine collection bin just outside her office.

Now, she’s hoping to motivate as many as 28,000 state employees to do the same this month.

“Imagine one phone from each employee,” she told reporters. “This is a very easy thing to do and so simple to make such a difference in peoples’ lives.”

She first heard of the First Lady HopeLine drives from Alabama’s First Lady. After their chat, she visited Verizon’s HopeLine website and found the quickest link to organize her own collection drive from the hallways of the Indiana Statehouse.

“It is a privilege to partner with HopeLine.”

When asked about a month-long drive, Mrs. Pence pointed out that old phones and accessories can be donated any time of year at any company-owned Verizon retail store.

“All you do is lift the lid,” she said as she dropped off the first donation. Mrs. Pence said another eight phones were in her office and ready to donate, including ones with old texting keyboards that are no longer used in her household.

Verizon’s Neil Krevda said the HopeLine program was launched in 2001 and has been helping survivors and the Hoosier nonprofits who support them ever since. “We wanted to use wireless technology to help prevent domestic violence and to assist survivors. To date, the program has collected 10 million phones and has given $21 million in grants to domestic violence agencies.”

In Indiana, HopeLine from Verizon has supported agencies in Indianapolis, Evansville and Fort Wayne – with grants to add programs, build out new space in shelters and to keep waiting lists at a minimum for families in emergency situations.

Mrs. Pence said she hopes to make the drive an annual event.