First lady Dianne Bentley celebrates 10,000th cell phone donated - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

First lady Dianne Bentley celebrates 10,000th cell phone donated to HopeLine

Mrs. Bentley at the 2013 cell phones for Hopeline event. Mrs. Bentley at the 2013 cell phones for Hopeline event.

First Lady Dianne Bentley joined the head of the Alabama Department of Corrections, Commissioner Kim Thomas, along with representatives from Verizon Wireless Wednesday for a good cause to donate used cell phones to HopeLine.

HopeLine is an initiative sponsored by Verizon Wireless that collects wireless devices and accessories that are no longer used.  The phones and accessories are then refurbished, recycled and/or sold, with phones and proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence through grants and the donations of wireless phones and services.  

 "It is my hope that the 10,000 phones donated will make a difference in the lives of Alabamians and help end domestic violence," Bentley said. "We have many programs throughout our state that work with victims. For those who are affected by domestic violence, there is help, hope and a way out."

Mrs. Bentley, who supports the cause of domestic violence awareness and prevention through a number of initiatives, first learned of HopeLine in early 2012. She says she started by asking the members of her husband's cabinet to donate old, unused phones and within a month had amassed more than 2,500 phones.

Many of those phones came through donations from the Alabama Dept. of Corrections. Commissioner Thomas thanked Mrs. Bentley for her work in bringing attention to domestic violence and said that the Dept. of Corrections looks forward to continued work with her and HopeLine.

"Our correctional officers confiscate illegal cell phones on a daily basis," Commissioner Thomas said. "In a prison setting, these phones are a real danger and a source of criminal activity. Our officers combat their illegal use, and we are glad to donate them a very worthy cause.  It is our goal that every cell phone we confiscate and donate represents a positive step in assisting victims of domestic violence."

Wednesday, Bentley announced the delivery of another 1,300 phones to reach a milestone: A total of more than 10,000 phones have been donated so far.

"We applaud First Lady Bentley's tireless efforts, which are making a difference for domestic violence victims and survivors in Alabama," said Jonathan LeCompte, President of the Georgia/Alabama Region of Verizon Wireless. "The phones and accessories she's helped collect have been turned into support for those affected by domestic violence in Alabama via HopeLine phones or cash grants donated to nonprofit organizations across the state, from Florence to Dothan."

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