Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation Award $110,000 in Domestic Violence Prevention Grants in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. - Thanksgiving came early to Virginia domestic violence prevention advocates, who today received $110,000 in grants from Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation to bolster statewide domestic violence prevention efforts.

The grants were presented at a ceremony attended by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Roanoke Police Officer Terry Oates and Richmond Police Detective Carol Adams.  Oates and Adams used the occasion to donate nearly 3,000 no-longer-used wireless phones they had collected to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® Program.  The phones will be recycled to provide future aid to Virginia groups working to prevent domestic violence and to shelter or support victims.

Roanoke Police Officer Oates started his HopeLine phone recycling drive because of the inspiring example of Richmond Detective Carol Adams, who has contributed some 5,000 phones over several years to HopeLine.  Adams makes all the donations in honor of her mother, Orine Adams, who died as a result of a domestic violence incident in 1980.

"Carol Adams and Terry Oates demonstrate that every individual can make a difference in preventing domestic violence," said Tami Erwin, Verizon Wireless Regional President, Washington-Baltimore-Virginia. "All too often we read about tragic cases and feel powerless to help.  But there are things we can all do: We can watch for the telltale warning signs of domestic abuse in those around us and encourage seeking assistance, and we can donate old wireless phones to the HopeLine recycling program so shelters and service providers can help victims become survivors and start new lives."

Attorney General Bob McDonnell said, "Domestic violence destroys families and hurts the most innocent among us. It is a pattern of behavior and a method of control that ruins lives. By assisting victims, partnering with allies like Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation, and promoting awareness of the problem, we are working to combat domestic violence in Virginia."

Verizon Wireless has a longstanding partnership with the Virginia Attorney General's office.  For nearly four years, the Attorney General's offices across the Commonwealth have collected phones and recycled them through the HopeLine program.   

Today's grant announcement included a $30,000 award to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, which will be used to support a Domestic Violence Victim Fund and to continue funding the Commonwealth Campus Campaign, the first statewide awareness and education program designed specifically to address dating violence among students on Virginia's college and university campuses.  Called the Red Flag Campaign, the outreach effort, which includes posters, a Web site and eye-catching red flags placed on campuses, draws attention to the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship.  Research indicates that in 21 percent of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused.  The Verizon Foundation also supported the campaign last year with a $25,000 donation.

The Verizon Wireless/Verizon Foundation grants announced today will fund the following wide range of innovative programs across Virginia:

  • $30,000 to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance ($20,000 to fund the Commonwealth Campus Campaign and $10,000 to the Victim Assistance Fund);

  • $15,000 to Leesburg's Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice for its Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter Hispanic Services to ensure accessibility for Hispanic families to services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse;

  • $10,000 to Childhelp USA in Fairfax to help provide a domestic violence program manager to work at the Childhelp Children's Center of Virginia.  The program manager will develop a domestic violence program that will provide immediate medical care to victims of domestic violence and will train and supervise a team of eight, on-call domestic violence nurses;

  • $10,000 to Richmond's Safe Harbor to fund community education and outreach including the use of a portable community education booth;

  • $10,000 to the YWCA of Richmond, the oldest provider of services for victims of domestic violence, to support the organization's ongoing domestic violence programs;

  • $10,000 to Richmond's Commonwealth Catholic Charities for the development of parent/teen anger-management groups in the Charlottesville, Virginia area;

  • $10,000 to Virginia Beach's Samaritan House for its Victim Advocacy Program, designed to help victims who do not come into emergency shelter but are supported as they interact with the police, legal and judicial systems;

  • $5,000 to Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton to support IMPACTS, a targeted outreach and education program for underserved domestic violence victims and their children;

  • $5,000 to Roanoke Valley CASA Foundation for additional training sessions for caseworkers/advocates to work with children who've suffered from abuse and neglect;

  • $2,250 to Annandale's Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington to provide community outreach programs on domestic violence for Korean immigrants in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia;

  • $1,600 to Warren County Council on Domestic Violence for costs associated with the design and activation of a web page for the organization;

  • $1,150 to ACTS/Turning Point in Dumfries for digital cameras to document abuse in incidents of domestic violence.

Marking its 11th year in 2006, the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program distributes wireless phones to victims of domestic violence, supports non-profit domestic violence advocacy groups, and provides an environmentally friendly method for recycling phones.  No-longer-used phones are collected and recycled or sold, with wireless phones and/or monetary donations benefiting domestic violence agencies and victims.  Since 2001, consumers have donated more than 3 million phones and more than 600,000 phones have been recycled. Verizon Wireless has distributed nearly $10 million in cash grants and in-kind services to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs across the country. For more information on Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 56.7 million voice and data customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD).  Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.  To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About the Verizon Foundation
Verizon delivers technology that touches life. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and its financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; help families victimized by domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, which is one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States and responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.