On April 29, 2015, Verizon hosted an event in New York City at its Bryant Park Verizon Store with pro football player William Gay and actress Uzo Aduba to support their HopeLine from Verizon program and announce the goal of one million phone donations by the end of 2015. This will support victims of domestic violence. Together, William Gay and Verizon asked people across the nation to take action against domestic violence in two simple ways: by dropping off no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories from any service provider, at any Verizon store or learning more here. William Gay shared his personal story of how domestic violence has impacted his life through a powerful PSA video. Uzo Aduba donated a used wireless phone and discussed her views about domestic violence. Rose Kirk, a Verizon executive, discussed HopeLine’s mission and goals. Jaunito Vargas, a Safe Horizon Representative, talked about how Verizon’s HopeLine program has positively impacted domestic violence survivors.
Verizon has a long-standing commitment to domestic violence awareness and prevention, which has been a main philanthropic focus since 2001 through the HopeLine from Verizon program. HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, chargers from any service provider and turns them into support for domestic violence awareness and prevention organizations. These phones are refurbished and recycled in an environmentally safe way with proceeds going towards the financial support of domestic violence awareness and prevention initiatives. Verizon also donates phones, complete with service and data, to domestic violence organizations for use by victims and survivors. Read our exclusive interviews below:
How did you get involved with the event today?
I believe in the cause. I worked with safe Safe Verizon before, so it felt like a natural fit, and something I had to be apart of. They are empowering domestic abuse victims with these phones, and not that it’s a great way for people to participate in the cause a donation that I know you, myself, and others were constantly upgrading our phones. So we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do with these phones, this is an easy way to give away the old phones and help out with a cause.
What can you tell us about the next season of “OITNB”?
Everyone DIES! [laughs] just joking, no, I can’t give away too much information, however “faith” is going to be a very strong theme for this season. Our show creator is playing with faith, and that can be an umbrella term as to what that means, faith in yourself, faith in others, faith in love, faith in religion if you want to extend it that far.
What’s next for you?
Well I just made a movie this past winter, which was really exciting. I loved the cast, I loved the location, I surely enjoyed working with Cicely Tyson, who is legendary. Honey, she is everything, the actresses of actresses. She came to teach the children. Also I enjoyed working with Maggie Grace.
What kinds of phones can you donate?
You can donate any phone. We’re taking any old phones, old accessories, batteries, just anything you want to give away.
Why is this cause important to you?
Just by losing my mother to domestic violence, it helped me by telling her story. It helped me overcome those dark, dark times I had, and bring the light on stopping domestic violence. I think teaming up with Verizon and the HopeLine program it allows people to team up with Verizon to join in the fight against domestic violence.
Tell us about the video you made.
It was really great, it was great to show that we can help others going through the same situation that my mother went through. It touched me knowing that I can share her story.