1/23/06 Contact: Caran Smith, 678-339-4891 (Caran.Smith@VerizonWireless.com)
David Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)

VERIZON WIRELESS AND AUBURN UNIVERSITY’S SAFE HARBOR CONNECT TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION

Campus Community Donates Their No-Longer-Used Phones to a Great Cause

AUBURN - It’s the social ill that no one wants to talk about. Yet, every nine seconds a woman in the United States is battered by someone she knows or loves. Domestic violence strikes in every community. From the stay-at-home mom to the corporate executive, the victims of domestic violence cross all ages, races and economic lines. Verizon Wireless strives to make a difference to end this devastating social epidemic.

Verizon Wireless will join with Auburn University’s Safe Harbor Program to urge students and staff to donate their no-longer-used phones and accessories in support of domestic violence awareness and prevention. The drive will begin at the AU versus Kentucky basketball game on January 24. Verizon Wireless is the game day sponsor. Fans can drop off their no-longer-used phones at the Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum during the game. Drop off sites will be located on the concourse inside the gates. In addition, students, faculty and staff can drop off their old phones any time now through May 15 at sites located in Foy Union and the AU Medical Clinic.

Safe Harbor, now in its seventh year, is Auburn University’s grant-funded sexual assault assistance and awareness program. The program, housed in the Student Counseling Center, provides counseling services to victims of sexual assault and dating violence, assists students through advocacy services, and provides awareness education across campus. Safe Harbor also provides a valuable link between campus and community.

Verizon Wireless has supported domestic violence awareness and prevention efforts for more than 10 years. The company’s HopeLine Program allows those who want to make a contribution to domestic violence prevention to donate an old or used wireless phone to the program. The company takes these phones, refurbishes them and either donates them to local domestic violence shelters or recycles them - with proceeds being donated to shelters and advocacy groups throughout the state.

In addition, Verizon Wireless offers the #HOPE program. Abuse victims can get professional support quickly and confidentially by dialing #HOPE from a Verizon Wireless phone. Calls are routed to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE).

“Domestic violence has a devastating effect on victims, businesses and communities throughout our country,” said Jim McGean, Verizon Wireless Alabama/Georgia region president. “We are committed to doing what we can to help. We are proud to join Auburn University in addressing this tragic problem.”

Knowing key statistics about domestic violence can also help raise awareness:

* One in four women is abused by a partner at some point in their lives.

* Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States - more than
car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

* Annually, businesses nationwide forfeit $5 billion in lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism and non-productivity due to domestic violence. Fifty-six percent of victims are late for work at least five times per month.

* Every 30 minutes, a child is the victim of confirmed abuse in Alabama.

Verizon Wireless has collected more than two million used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims and advocacy groups. All wireless phone models, batteries and chargers from any carrier are accepted. For store locations and additional information, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama’s largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

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About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation’s most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE:VOD). Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com/ . To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia .

About HopeLine
The Verizon Wireless HopeLine program collects phones of any wireless carrier and refurbishes or recycles them with all proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence. The environmentally friendly HopeLine Program puts wireless services and equipment to work to assist victims in emergency domestic violence situations. Donations are accepted at all 1,900-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can also visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline .