UNION CITY, N.J. - The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation and Verizon today announced the opening of the first Margaret's Place in New Jersey at the Jose Marti Middle School here. Margaret's Place is a comprehensive program that provides students with a "safe room" in school where they can meet with a professional trained in domestic violence intervention and prevention.
Torre and former Yankee great Bernie Williams addressed more than 500 students at Jose Marti during a program to kick off the expansion. The Margaret's Place at the school is funded through a $325,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.
"I am very proud to help bring Margaret's Place to New Jersey," said Torre, manager of the Yankees and founder and chairman of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation. "We need to do all we can to raise funds and awareness to help end this vicious cycle. I especially want to thank the Verizon Foundation for their support in this initiative. We hope that other corporations follow in their lead."
Torre grew up in a violent household; his father abused his mother. Torre and his wife, Ali, founded the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation in 2002.
Margaret's Place -- named for Torre's mother, Margaret -- is staffed by a full-time counselor or social worker who provides individual and group counseling; prevention workshops; peer leadership programs; and staff, parent/family and community workshops on youth violence and intervention strategies for the school, home and community. Margaret's Place uses an anti-violence curriculum developed by Safe Horizon, the nation's leading victims' assistance organization.
The Union City location is the Safe At Home Foundation's 10th Margaret's Place and the first outside of New York. The foundation hopes to open additional rooms in New Jersey schools in the near future.
"Domestic violence is an issue that affects far too many Americans," said Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "Education and outreach are integral parts of breaking the cycle of violence, and we're proud to partner with Joe Torre's organization to bring this tremendous resource to the students of Jose Marti."
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery. In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.
For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
About The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation
Joe Torre's personal commitment to the issue of domestic violence stems from the fear he lived with growing up as a child in Brooklyn. Spurred by the abuse he witnessed and endured, Torre and his wife, Ali, have created the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation - in memory of Joe's mother, Margaret. The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all children have an opportunity to grow up in a safe and abuse-free environment. Its goal is to raise awareness and educate in order to end the cycle of domestic violence. For additional information on the Foundation, please visit www.joetorre.org.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 62 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.