A single voice speaking out, a lone gesture of kindness or a solitary act of good will - the power of one is impactful. And now during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's an ideal time to look at what each one of us can do to combat domestic violence.
Domestic violence does not discriminate. It's an epidemic that affects individuals in every community, regardless of age, gender, economic status, race, religion or educational background. While men are not immune to this problem, the primary victims are women, 24 percent of whom report at least one episode of intimate-partner violence in their lifetimes. That's a sister, a mother or a daughter you may know who is a victim or who has been affected by domestic violence.
Although we can't stop domestic violence overnight, we can work to shift the statistics in a positive direction. Major social change starts small. It's as simple as an individual deciding to take action, because good deeds are contagious.
All it takes is one. One person to donate his or her old wireless phone to HopeLine, Verizon Wireless' phone recycling and reuse program. The no-longer-used phone - quite possibly stored and forgotten - gives a victim not only a connection to support or emergency services but also a link to friends, family and potential employers.
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Donating phones is simple. HopeLine collects old wireless phones, batteries and accessories from any wireless provider at Verizon stores nationwide or by mail using the postage-paid label available at verizonwireless.com/hopelinemailinglabel. Phones that can be refurbished are sold for reuse, and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally sound way.
If every person reading this gave just one phone and others did the same, imagine the positive impact we could make in the lives of domestic violence victims.
Each of us has an opportunity to take action and help break the cycle of violence. Remember, the only activity too small is the act of doing nothing at all. Every phone counts. So grab your old phone, spread the word and make a difference this October.
JERRY M. FOUNTAIN
President, Verizon Wireless Carolinas/Tennessee Region