Verizon to Invest $500,000 to Support Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Programs Across New England

Verizon has a long history of investing in programs that help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives while raising awareness of this issue.  This year, the Verizon Foundation and the HopeLine® from Verizon program will invest $500,000 in New England-based nonprofits that support those impacted by domestic violence.

As part of this investment, the foundation is inviting nonprofit agencies in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont to apply for a total of $250,000 in grants through the 2011 Verizon Foundation New England Domestic Violence Solutions Awards RFP.  Individual grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to support domestic violence prevention and service initiatives.

In addition to the RFP grants, another $250,000 in grants will be awarded to support programs that use technology to improve the reach of services to survivors of domestic violence, and to fund a new entrepreneurial program that will help survivors of domestic violence start businesses, giving survivors the economic self-sufficiency needed to support their families and rebuild their lives.

In 2011, the Verizon Foundation's domestic violence prevention priorities include: engaging men in domestic violence awareness and prevention, mobilizing teens to engage in healthy relationships, and in spreading domestic violence prevention and awareness through the sharing of the documentary "Telling Amy's Story," available at www.telling.psu.edu.

"Through the Verizon Foundation and HopeLine, Verizon is proud to help families impacted by domestic violence rebuild their lives," said Christine Berberich, Verizon Wireless president of the New England region.  "We are increasing our investment this year to provide more resources to enable nonprofits to increase the quality and effectiveness of their services for survivors and their families."

Since 2007, Verizon Foundation has donated more than $1 million to domestic violence prevention and service programs across New England.  Nationally, it has awarded more than $21 million in grants to nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence.

Under the HopeLine program, no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories are collected at Verizon Wireless stores, or by mail, to help victims of domestic violence. The devices are refurbished or recycled in an environmentally friendly way. The program provides wireless phones and airtime, and cash grants, to local shelters and nonprofit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.

In addition, proceeds from HopeLine fund a variety of innovative programs.  For example, HopeLine recently awarded grants to provide for: the printing of training documents that assist employers in recognizing and addressing the threat of domestic violence in the workplace; video technology that allows domestic violence's youngest victims, children, to participate in legal proceedings from a safe environment; and startup funding for entrepreneurial survivors of domestic violence attempting to establish small businesses and economic stability.

Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 8 million phones, properly disposed of 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones, and kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.

"At Verizon, we believe it is our responsibility to help make our communities a better place to live," said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England.  "That's why we are always striving to find creative solutions to solving social issues such as domestic violence."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention.  In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

For more information on HopeLine from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

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, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.