Inside the Box: Helio Castroneves Donates Mobile Device for HopeLine

On Thursday, the three-time Indianapolis 500 champ (and <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> winner) showed his support for efforts to assist victims of domestic violence.
Let’s face it: There are very few ways in which you are like IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves.

For example, it’s highly unlikely that you have ever won the coveted mirror-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars, like Helio did in 2007. Also, you’re probably not primed to start your 300th IndyCar event, like Helio will this Saturday at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. You probably haven’t captured one—let alone three—Indianapolis 500 victories, like Helio has.

And I’d wager that your hair isn’t anywhere near as tidy as Helio’s.

But here’s one way you can be like Helio: by donating your old mobile device to the HopeLine Drive, as he did on Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What is HopeLine? It’s an initiative spearheaded by IndyCar series title sponsor Verizon to raise awareness and funds for the prevention of domestic violence. When you donate your old phone or other wireless device to HopeLine, Verizon either refurbishes or recycles it. Refurbished phones are distributed to shelters for use by survivors of domestic abuse. Since 2001, when the HopeLine program was established, Verizon has doled out almost 200,000 of these phones to shelters all over the country. In addition, the company has awarded nearly $30 million in cash grants to organizations that support survivors of domestic abuse.

“Domestic violence impacts our families and friends, our workplaces, and our communities,” said Castroneves. “I’m encouraging racing fans to clean out their drawers and donate their old phones and accessories.”

In Indiana, HopeLine is working to support the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), starting with a $50,000 grant to cover a shortfall in the coalition’s Emergency Housing and Transportation Fund. That money will go a long way toward helping the coalition meet the needs of the thousands of Hoosiers who seek help at some 57 residential shelters and programs statewide. (Last year, that number topped 26,000 people—27 percent of whom were children.) “Thanks to this generous grant,” said executive director Laura Berry, ICADV can “provide emergency funds to those who need it most.”

So if you’re planning to visit the IMS this month, whether for the Grand Prix (May 9), Indy 500 Qualifications (May 16), Old National Armed Forces Pole Day (May 17), Coors Light Carb Day (May 22), or the Indy 500 (May 24), you too can be like Helio: Just look for one of the mobile-device drop boxes around the facility.

HopeLine mobile-device drop boxes can be found at various locations around Central Indiana.