Verizon Foundation Provides $165,000 to 15 Agencies to Support Domestic Violence Survivors in Massachusetts

To help address the continuing problem of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation is donating $165,000 to 15 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 Thursday (Oct. 14) at the WGBH-TV studios, where a screening of the documentary "Telling Amy's Story" took place.

The documentary, funded by the Verizon Foundation and created by Penn State Public Broadcasting, recounts the tragic story of a Verizon employee who was shot and killed by her husband. WGBH-TV will air the documentary on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. on Channel 2 and rebroadcast it at 11 p.m. on Channel 44.

Among the guests who participated in Thursday's ceremony were Diane Patrick, first lady of Massachusetts; Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England; Mary Lauby, executive director of Jane Doe Inc., a statewide coalition of more than 60 community-based sexual assault and domestic violence programs; and Detective Deidri Fishel, narrator of "Telling Amy's Story" and a homicide investigator with the State College, Pa., Police Department.

Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a major concentration for Verizon and its philanthropic activities.  In the past five years, the company has awarded approximately $1 million 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 Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England.  "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: 

  • Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (Boston)
  • Casa Myrna Vazquez (Boston)
  • DOVE Inc. (Quincy)
  • Elizabeth Freeman Center (Pittsfield)
  • Emerge: Men's Counseling Service on Domestic Violence (Cambridge)
  • Girls Incorporated of Worcester
  • Healing Abuse Working for Change (Salem)
  • Impact (Malden)
  • Jane Doe Inc. (Boston)
  • Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center (Newburyport)
  • Katie Brown Educational Program (Fall River); Relationship Violence Prevention Project
  • New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (Greenfield)
  • Safe Passage  (Northampton)
  • Voices Against Violence (Framingham)
  • Womanshelter/Companeras (Holyoke)

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

Verizon Wireless HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones 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.

"Domestic violence touches all walks of life and does not discriminate against age, race or social class," said Michael Murphy, Verizon Wireless manager of public relations, who manages the HopeLine program in New England. "Donating a phone to HopeLine is an easy way to support nonprofits that help address this very important issue, especially in this challenging economic climate."

Since 2001, Verizon Wireless has distributed more than 90,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence. Through HopeLine's recycling efforts, more than 1.6 million no-longer-used wireless phones have been disposed of properly; more than 170,000 pounds of batteries have been recycled; and more than 200 tons of electronics waste and batteries have been kept out of landfills. For more information about HopeLine, visit www.verizonwireless.com/HopeLine.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 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 $26.1 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 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: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 92 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 last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.