“The real crisis is a scourge of domestic violence itself. A plague that crosses all sports, all communities, and all demographics.”
-Lowell McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO
It’s October. The month the National Football League goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And in light of the recent NFL headlines, I was hoping the Colts would find a way to tie that in. Maybe add a purple ribbon to the pink ribbons they hand out?
Well, they did better than that. On Thursday, the Colts announced their second annual HopeLine drive with Verizon Wireless. Together, they pledged $20,000 and set a goal of collecting more than 1,000 phones during the month of October.
On Sunday, October 19th from 11:00-1:00 the Colts will hold a phone drive prior to the Bengals game. Volunteers will collect wireless phones, devices, and accessories in any condition and from any carrier outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. Cash donations will also be accepted. Phones will be refurbished and used to benefit Coburn Place, an Indianapolis agency that offers a safe haven to victims of domestic violence.
Executive Director Julia Kathary says the recent publicity has presented both an opportunity and a need.
“High profile domestic cases such as those within the NFL are helping to bring awareness to the plight of victims and the cycle of violence. With the release of the full Ray Rice video, some Indiana domestic hotlines experienced spikes in crisis calls of up to 77%.”
Colts tight end Dwayne Allen calls domestic abuse a silent epidemic and says he experienced it firsthand growing up. Now, he’s calling on his peers to help break the cycle.
“Whether we like being in the limelight or not, it doesn’t matter. We know that it comes with our profession. And it’s our job to step up to the plate and be role models for millions of people including a lot of children.”
Allen says thankfully, his mother had the resources around her to get out of a dangerous relationship. The goal of Coburn Place is to make that the case for as many Hoosier families as possible. To equip victims with the tools to become survivors.
A ribbon is good. A phone is better.
Note: HopeLine boxes are located inside all Verizon retail stores year round, so you can make a donation any time.