Professional football player William Gay and Orange Is The New Black‘s award-winning actress Uzo Aduba joined Verizon’s HopeLine program this week to take action against Domestic Violence. Together they announced a goal of collecting 1 million phones this year to support victims of domestic violence.
Joined with William and Uzo were Verizon Executive Rose Kirk, and Safe Horizon‘s Juanito Vargas. With the supporting quartet on-hand the event turned out to be quite the success, which brought an abundance of awareness to this major cause.
A little info on how Helpline works:
HopeLine provides ways for individuals to take action against domestic violence by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories in any condition from any service provider. Verizon turns these resources into support for domestic violence organizations and programs nationwide.
Since its launch in October 2001, HopeLine has donated hundreds of thousands of phones and awarded millions of dollars in cash grants to non-profit organizations and agencies.
**Phones that are provided from Verizon has a tracker and spyware. That would be a phone the victim can keep on them at all times in case of any situation. Each phone has 3,ooo pre-paid minutes of air and text time.**
Rose Kirk spoke more about the initiative with SFPL:
We wanted to have a corporate social responsibility cause that allowed us to take Verizon’s assets and have a huge impact in society. We also wanted to be in a situation where we can actually help victims of domestic violence. We have a HUGE number of employees, whether they’re male or female that we know are probably going to be victims; if you look at the stats of 1 in 4 Women, 1 in 7 Men — so we knew that we had an opportunity. And that opportunity was to create a program where our assets could be used for good, and that’s how this program was created.
William spoke with SFPL on why he participated this year:
I wanted to tell my mother’s story. Her story can help someone out there that are going through the same issues that she went through. And that’s why I wanted to join Verizon’s Hopeline Program. They wanted to get the point across about domestic violence, and that’s what i’m trying to do as well.
His advice to others that have been through domestic violence:
I would advise the victims to just open up about it. Open up about your story. It would help you and in return help someone else that may be going through the same situation; or know someone that’s going through the situation as well. The more we talk about it, the more people would feel comfortable about opening up, getting involved in different organizations, and getting the information that they need to seek help.
Uzo also spoke with SFPL on her reason for joining in on the cause:
I have a familiarity with domestic violence. So, the advice that I would give to other victims is: #1 – It’s not you fault. #2 – You are not to blame. I understand it’s hard to leave, but if you can find one strongly day, leave on that one strong day. JUST GO. Pack your things and go. It’s not worth it.
Uzo speaks on the recent happenings of the Baltimore Riots:
I think our president said it best when he recently gave his interview. He said something to the effect of; “I think our law enforcement needs to do some soul-searching, I think our community needs to do some soul-searching, and our country needs to do some soul-searching.” And I think he did a fine job at expressing that and I support that idea as well. I think that you can never run away from the truth.
Congrats to Verizon, Uzo, William, Rose, Juanito and others who participated in forming such a great cause! This is absolutely FLY!
Visit www.verizon.com/about/hopeline to learn more.
[Photos were provided by Verizon]