California Nonprofit Agencies Receive $1.5 Million From Verizon for Domestic Violence Prevention Efforts

To help address the continuing problem of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation has awarded $1.5 million in grants this year to California nonprofit agencies for use in education, advocacy, support and prevention initiatives across the state.

The announcement of the grants is part of Verizon's recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a major concentration for Verizon and its philanthropic activities.  In the past three years, the company has awarded more than $5 million to nonprofits that focus on domestic violence in California.

"The impact of domestic violence is devastating and universal: It can impact anyone regardless of race or income level, said Tim McCallion, Verizon West region president. "These partnerships allow us to continue to use our resources to support organizations that have a proven record of success in domestic violence awareness, prevention, and survivor support."

Among the California nonprofits receiving domestic violence prevention grants from Verizon are:

  • Congress of California Seniors, Sacramento and Self-Help for the Elderly, San Francisco - $300,000  to support the Commitment to End Abuse of Seniors and Elders (CEASE) program. CEASE will partner with local senior service providers and domestic violence prevention groups to implement an education and outreach campaign, publish multilingual education materials, and direct information about local resources available to victims and family members.

  • Jenesse Center, Los Angeles - $250,000 to create the Career Transitions Program, which empowers domestic violence survivors to use Web-based training and other computer technology to gain job skills needed to become economically self-sufficient.

  • Alameda Family Justice Center (AFJC), Oakland - $70,000 to continue support of AFJC's Domestic Violence Reporting & Referral Project, which helps medical providers and law enforcement agencies use technology to facilitate mandatory reporting and link victims to services.

  • Safe Alternatives for Everyone, Temecula - $54,000 to support Boys Council and Girls Circle, a violence prevention and intervention program designed to prevent young people from engaging in at-risk behavior.

  • Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara - $50,000 to support  DVS' emergency shelter program, which provides a 30- to 45-day shelter stay, goal-setting, support groups, counseling, and advocacy for financial, legal, housing, medical and childcare assistance.

  • My Sister's House, Sacramento - $40,000 to support the Sisters Achieving Self Sufficiency Program, which ensures domestic violence survivors receive services, support, and training to provide for greater economic stability and success in obtaining employment. 

  • Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Los Angeles - $30,000 to support the STOP Partner Abuse/Domestic Violence Program, which provides domestic violence services that address the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In addition, 15 California domestic violence shelters received more than $23,000 worth of household items donated by Verizon employees during the company's 2009 Shower for the Shelter campaign.

Verizon has a long history of supporting domestic violence prevention and awareness through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® phone recycling program and through the Verizon Foundation.

Verizon Wireless HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories, and puts them to work in the community by turning them into support for domestic violence survivors.  Phones collected through HopeLine recycling drives are refurbished, recycled or sold, and proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups in the form of cash grants and prepaid wireless phones for survivors.  Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.

This year, Verizon Wireless has distributed 2,700 HopeLine phones in California. Each phone comes with 3,000 minutes of usage, for a total of 8.1 million minutes of airtime.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.