HopeLine for victims of domestic violence


The Cocoon Shelter’s list of supporters continues to grow, as a project launched on the north side of
Bowling Green demonstrated Tuesday.
The Verizon Wireless Communications store at 1216 N. Main St., which opened its doors to the public with
a midday ribbon cutting, chose the occasion to introduce a month-long phone collection drive to benefit
Cocoon, the Bowling Green area’s only domestic violence shelter.
"We are indeed excited about Verizon being here in Bowling Green," said Earlene Kilpatrick,
executive director of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. "Today we’re here to talk about a
serious issue and what Verizon Wireless is doing to combat the problem."
Through HopeLine, a program launched back in 1995, the company collects no-longer-used wireless phones,
batteries and accessories in any condition from any service provider, explained Travis Lattimore,
Verizon district manager of retail sales. "The used phones are either refurbished or
With the funds raised from the sale of the refurbished phones, Verizon donates cell phones and airtime to
domestic violence survivors, and makes donations to non-profit shelters and prevention programs across
the country.
That national program will now be introduced on the local level. The collection of cell phones, which
began Tuesday, will be ongoing, Lattimore emphasized, but the special collection to benefit Cocoon
continues until the end of this month.

Michelle Clossick speaks
to group at the new Verizon Wireless store in Bowling Green. 10/6/09 (Photos: J.D.

"In Bowling Green, the Cocoon Shelter is at the forefront of an effort to turn victims into
survivors," he pointed out.
In recognition of that fact, he and other company representatives presented a check for $2,000 to Cocoon
Executive Director Michelle Clossick.
That initial donation, which comes from HopeLine funds, is meant to demonstrate the company’s commitment
to helping end the epidemic of domestic violence at a time when statistics show that nearly one out of
every four American women will be a victim of such violence at some point during her life, Lattimore
Starting this week, area residents can bring their old or unneeded cell phones and related items directly
to the Verizon store located in the small strip mall on the south front of the Woodland Mall property.

A small mountain of already-collected phones surrounded an overflowing box on a table in the parking lot.
The pile included Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, Alltel, Samsung and other brands, some of fairly ancient
vintage and others more recent.
Clossick thanked Verizon Wireless "for reaching out to us" at a time when "it feels like
people are coming to us with greater needs and less resources to meet those needs. Everyone is living
closer to the edge."
She pointed to "all of the funding that has been cut at the state level for mental health and
substance abuse, issues that are not uncommon with domestic violence situations.
"We have seen such complex medical issues in our residents this summer. (Domestic violence) causes
trauma issues that can stay with a person for life."
Cocoon Shelter opened its doors four years ago in June. Since then, she said, the shelter has provided
almost 9,000 nights of safe emergency shelter to 216 women and their children.
"Every night of shelter costs a family about $109" including emergency services and housing.
"That’s bare-bones cost. So that $2,000 will go a long way."
Clossick confirmed that with the current economic crisis, "some of the safety nets have dried
Women and families find themselves "needing to pay off a bill or do something to move toward
permanent housing. So to have this kind of unrestricted funding is really valuable. It gives us the
flexibility to provide some of the funds to help them relocate, or to pay an expense they aren’t
eligible for in another way."

No posts to display