Verizon Foundation Awards More Than $200,000 to Domestic Violence Prevention Programs in Massachusetts

To help address the continuing issue of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation is donating $205,000 to 19 nonprofit agencies in Massachusetts for programs that engage men in the prevention of domestic violence, promote healthy relationships among teens and young adults, and use technology to improve the reach of services that help survivors.

The nonprofit agencies were honored by Verizon at an event that was hosted by the Sport in Society, a Northeastern University Center, and that focused on engaging men in the prevention of domestic violence.  Angelo McClain, Massachusetts commissioner of child and family services, and Don McPherson, activist, ESPN college football analyst and College Football Hall of Famer, who are both leaders in men's engagement initiatives, were keynote speakers at the event, which was held on Friday (Oct. 28) and attended by more than 100 community leaders.

Jarrod Chin, director for training and curriculum at Sport in Society, said, "The Verizon Foundation understands the importance of engaging men, as well as teens and young adults, to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence.  The foundation's support enables agencies across Massachusetts to continue to improve the reach of their services, resulting in stronger families, and communities."

Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of domestic violence is a major concentration for the Verizon Foundation.  For a list of the 2011 Massachusetts Verizon Foundation Domestic Violence Solutions Awards, go to www.verizon.com/ma.

In the past five years, the Verizon Foundation has awarded nearly $1.5 million to nonprofits that focus on domestic violence in Massachusetts.

"Domestic violence is an epidemic that affects far too many families," said Christine Berberich, regional president of Verizon Wireless.  "We understand that men play an important role in finding a solution to this problem, and we are supporting more programs that raise their awareness and level of engagement.   Verizon has a long history of using its technology and financial resources to educate people about abuse, the steps needed for prevention, and assisting those who are trapped in abusive relationships to get help and restore their lives."

The HopeLine by Verizon program collects devices and accessories at the company's stores or by mail to help victims of domestic violence. The collected phones are refurbished or recycled in an environmentally sound way. The program provides wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence and cash grants to local shelters and nonprofit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.  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.

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.

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

About Northeastern University Center for Sport in Society
Sport in Society, a center affiliated with Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies, educates and supports emerging leaders and organizations within sport with the awareness, knowledge and skills to implement innovative and impactful solutions for social change. Topical areas of work include: leadership, healthy development, diversity and inclusion, violence prevention, community building, community service, and civic engagement.  For more information, visit www.northeastern.edu/sportinsociety.

Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence. For more information, visit www.northeastern.edu/cps.

About the Verizon Foundation
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. Verizon has invested more than $28 million in domestic violence prevention.  For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

About Verizon
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 consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 107 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $106.6 billion in 2010 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.