Verizon Wireless Combats Domestic Violence with Grants Totaling $30,000; Hunterdon's Women's Crisis Services Among Three Nonprofits to Receive Funding

ORANGEBURG, NY — Women's Crisis Services of Hunterdon County, the county's lead domestic violence and sexual assault agency, is one of three nonprofit organizations to benefit from $30,000 in grants announced today by Verizon Wireless to mark October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The grants, $10,000 each, were awarded to fund new or expanded domestic violence prevention and education programs in the New York Metro area and were made possible through the company's HopeLineSM phone recycling program.

Grant winners were selected from 60 applications received from nonprofit domestic violence organizations in New York and New Jersey last summer in response to a request for grant proposals. Other award recipients are The Children's Aid Society in New York City and The Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Bay Shore, NY.

The Women's Crisis Services grant will support a powerful educational theater program called "The Yellow Dress," to be performed at the three high schools in Hunterdon County. "The Yellow Dress" is a one-act play written for high school students, which dramatically depicts the story of a young girl, whose life and dreams are cut short by a relationship which grows deadly.

"The benefits of prevention education programming for at-risk youth cannot be emphasized enough," said Nancy L. Connor, executive director for Women's Crisis Services. "Programs like 'The Yellow Dress' play an important role in educating young women as well as men about recognizing abusive relationships and learning ways to get help before it's too late."

Awards were funded by proceeds from the VerizonWireless HopeLine phone recycling program through which the company collects no longer used wireless phones to be refurbished, recycled or sold to benefit victims of domestic violence. Proceeds from phone recycling in the New York metro area were used to seed the three $10,000 grants.

"All the community-minded citizens who turned in old wireless phones to be recycled and companies that hosted recycling drives on their premises have helped to make these grants possible," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "Clearly, the HopeLine phone recycling program is working to support domestic violence prevention and help women re-build their lives."

During the first six months of 2003, nearly 714,000 wireless phones were collected nationwide, generating $1.2 million in monetary and other contributions to domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations. No longer used wireless phones may be dropped off at all 1,200-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. All models are accepted. For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.  

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 34.6 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, 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.  

Women's Crisis Services of Hunterdon CountyWomen's Crisis Services offers crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as to their families. Current services include individual and group counseling, emergency shelter, legal and court advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling and creative arts therapy for children, transitional housing, community education and a program for batterers.

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