Photo of DA Capeless receiving Hopeline Hero award
In a ceremony on November 3, 2008, Verizon Wireless honored the efforts of the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and presented a 'HopeLine Hero' award for its support of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program.

The HopeLine Program, designed to support survivors of domestic violence, collects any wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. Phones that can be refurbished are sold and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, keeping tons of electronic waste out of landfills. Proceeds are used to provide wireless phones with full voice service and voicemail to women as part of their safety plan, plus cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations focused on domestic violence awareness and prevention.

For the past two years the Office, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, has coordinated a countywide effort that has collected more than 1,000 phones. Domestic abuse continues to rise in Berkshire County as it has throughout the nation, and is committed to changing the environment which allows it to happen. The HopeLine initiative helps raise awareness of domestic violence in the community and affords citizens an opportunity to help with the effort to reduce its effects.

According to Ken Dixon, Verizon Wireless New England region president, the HopeLine Hero award was created to recognize organizations that go above and beyond to support survivors and raise awareness of this issue.

District Attorney Capeless said "I am proud to receive the HopeLine Hero award from Verizon Wireless, and I am grateful to our partners in law enforcement who have joined me in this important effort. I am also thankful to the Berkshire Eagle and local radio stations whose support has allowed us to inform the public. It is my privilege to coordinate this program for the safety of those suffering in domestic violent situations".

In addition to receiving this wonderful award, District Attorney Capeless was particularly pleased that Verizon recognized the hard work of two local non-profit agencies which support victims of abuse. The Elizabeth Freeman Center has received financial awards during the past two years to support its current programming, and this year Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc., also received a grant to implement safety awareness and programming for the senior population.

Past recipients of the HopeLine Hero award in New England include Plymouth County (Massachusetts) District Attorney's Office, Braintree (Massachusetts) Recycling, the Boston Police Department, Community Systems, Inc.'s Community Experience Program (Connecticut), General Electric, HP, and Private Healthcare Systems (Massachusetts).

The District Attorney's Office accepts used phones and accessories year-round. For more information on donating, please contact the Office at 413-443-5951.