Friday, November 9, 2012


First Lady Dianne Bentley Recognizes Sorority Winners of Grant Competition

MONTGOMERY, ALA. – Verizon Wireless today awarded grants of $2,500 each to domestic violence agencies in Opelika and Montgomery as part of a competition involving sororities across Alabama during HOPEWEEK, a domestic violence awareness initiative organized by Verizon and the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV).

Auburn’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter, which adopted the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in Opelika, and Alabama State’s Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter, which picked the Family Sunshine Center in Montgomery, delivered the most signatures and phones as part of the HOPEWEEK competition. During HOPEWEEK, participating chapters of the two sororities at universities and colleges across Alabama collected more than 7,500 signatures for an online cause statement and also collected cell phones for HopeLine®, Verizon’s phone recycling program that raises funds for domestic violence awareness and prevention.

Representatives of each sorority chapter were invited to today’s luncheon with First Lady Bentley, a Verizon Wireless 2012 HopeLine Hero Award winner for her support of and efforts around domestic violence awareness and prevention. Officials with Verizon and ACADV also attended the luncheon.

“Every day, families across Alabama experience the harmful effects of violence in the home,” First Lady Bentley said. “I was proud to be a part of an effort that brought together hundreds of young women in Alabama to take action against this epidemic. They are an inspiration to us all.”

“First Lady Bentley’s support coupled with the efforts of the sorority chapters helped make HOPEWEEK a success and drive awareness of the issue of domestic violence here in Alabama,” said Jonathan LeCompte, president of the Georgia/Alabama region for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon was proud to be part of this effort.”

Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters from 14 Alabama universities and colleges participated in the HOPEWEEK grant competition. Besides Auburn and Alabama State, the schools were the University of Alabama, Alabama A&M University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Birmingham-Southern College, Samford University, Talladega College, Troy University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Montevallo, the University of North Alabama and the University of South Alabama.

HopeLine from Verizon Wireless collects no-longer-used wireless devices and accessories to be refurbished and recycled and/or sold with all proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence. Since launching the program in October of 2001, Verizon has funded more than $14.2 million in cash grants for domestic violence organizations across the country and distributed more than 123,000 HopeLine phones.

Safe American Plan

As you know, a number of east coast states recently had their citizens and property devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, as they continue to deal with the aftermath of this horrific hurricane, matched only by Katrina in the enormity of death and destruction it has left in its path.
Safe America’s ‘Text First. Talk Second’™ is good for everyone to know so that they can reach out to loved ones in situations like these. However, the basic premise of everyone needing to be their own first responder is the most important lesson that is unfortunately being played out in several coastal areas right now.
With the information from the National Weather Service, we often have at least some warning of what is coming our way. Given this, it would be beneficial to learn from Hurricane Sandy the importance of getting information from resources like and and taking a few moments to check out the lists of items to have on hand for situations like weather emergencies.
Safe America is currently conducting its March to 2 Million Program that has the goal of having 2 million people pledge to drill by the end of the year, with monthly increments being counted. To pledge only takes a few moments of filling out your information including the type of drill (texting, evacuation, shelter in place) at
For those of us in Alabama, we experienced our own disaster last April. I encourage everyone to get a plan together and know what you will do if an emergency situation arises.
Be safe!