Mike Murphy, New England Region Public Relations Manager, Verizon Wireless; Janis Broderick, Executive Director, Elizabeth Freeman Center; and Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless
On December 8, 2009, District Attorney David F. Capeless was recognized for coordinating the Berkshire County Verizon Wireless HopeLine program for the fourth consecutive year.

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.

The Office has collected more than 2,000 phones in the past four years.

Domestic violence is an issue of great concern nationwide and Berkshire County is no exception. The HopeLine program provides an opportunity to help those individuals and families affected as they work to rebuild their lives. 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.

At the ceremony, in acknowledgement of the successful community campaign, Mike Murphy, New England Region Public Relations Manager at Verizon Wireless, once again awarded the Elizabeth Freeman Center a grant in the amount of $1,000.00 to support emergency shelter residential programs, including transportation, onsite support groups, and food for women and their children fleeing from danger.

District Attorney Capeless looks over some of the donated phones
District Attorney Capeless said, "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".

Also attending the ceremony was Janis Broderick, Executive Director of the Elizabeth Freeman Center, who accepted a check from Verizon in support of the Center's work with victims of abuse.

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.