To help address the continuing problem of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation is donating $160,000 to 13 nonprofit agencies for use in education, advocacy, support and prevention initiatives across Massachusetts.
The grants, part of Verizon's recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, were awarded at a ceremony Friday (Oct. 23) at Heritage State Park. Holyoke Mayor Michael Sullivan hosted the event, and Verizon New England President Donna Cupelo presented the awards.
Guest speaker Karen Cavanaugh, executive director of Womanshelter/Companeras of Holyoke, one of the grant recipients, told attendees: "By funding innovative programs like Womanshelter/Companeras' Victim Resource Workshops, the Verizon Foundation demonstrates a commitment to helping all victims of domestic violence. Their level of concern and support strengthens our families, our agencies and our communities."
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 approximately $500,000 to nonprofits that focus on domestic violence in Massachusetts.
"Domestic violence is a problem that affects all members of families and tears at the basic fabric of our society," said Verizon's Cupelo. "These funds will go a long way in helping to educate Massachusetts residents about abuse, the steps needed for prevention, and assisting those people who are trapped in abusive relationships to get help and restore their lives."
The organizations receiving Verizon grants are:
- Abby Kelly Foster's House of Worcester
- Close to Home of Dorchester
- Elizabeth Freeman Center Inc. of Pittsfield
- Elizabeth Stone House of Jamaica Plain
- Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project of Cambridge
- Healthcare of Southeastern Massachusetts of Brockton
- Manet Community Health Center of Quincy
- Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers of Cambridge/Lowell
- New Bedford Women's Center of New Bedford
- Northeastern University School of Law Domestic Violence Institute of Boston
- Portal to Hope of Medford
- Reach Beyond Domestic Violence of Waltham
- Womanshelter/Companeras of Holyoke
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.
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.