LOS ANGELES, CA — More children in Los Angeles will soon have a better chance to grow up in a safe and abuse-free environment. On February 27, at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, over 6,000 people listened as Los Angeles Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax and manager Joe Torre shared memories, advice and personal stories. The once-in-a-lifetime “Koufax & Torre” event raised more than $750,000 for the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives. All proceeds will help the Foundation bring its programming initiative, Margaret’s Place, to Los Angeles this fall.
Attendees brought their old cell phones to the event, donating them to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program, which refurbishes and recycles old cell phones to support domestic violence prevention agencies. Verizon was the event’s presenting sponsor.
“We’re proud to have a great partner like Verizon, and greatly appreciate their tremendous support for our Safe At Home Foundation,” said Torre. “Verizon is an outstanding corporate leader helping to raise funds and awareness of domestic violence. Their commitment to the cause makes them true all-stars.”
Spurred by the abuse he witnessed and endured as a child, Joe and wife Ali founded the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation in 2002 in memory of Joe’s mother, Margaret. Margaret’s Place is a comprehensive program which provides middle and high school students a safe room in schools, where they can talk to each other and to a professional counselor trained in domestic violence intervention and prevention. There are currently eleven Margaret's Place sites in the New York tri-state area.
“I’m proud of our partnership with the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, and of all the important work they do to prevent violence and help victims become survivors,” said Tami Erwin, West Area President of Verizon Wireless. “We started our HopeLine phone recycling program fifteen years ago with the same goals in mind. Since then, we’ve provided shelters and victims with tens of thousands of phones for emergency communication and awarded nearly $8 million in grants to service providers across the country.”
Verizon has a long history of supporting domestic violence prevention and awareness through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program and through the Verizon Foundation. Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a major concentration for Verizon and its philanthropic activities. In the past three years, the company has awarded more than $5 million to nonprofits that focus on domestic violence in California. In addition, 15 California domestic violence shelters received more than $23,000 worth of household items donated by Verizon employees during the company’s 2009 Shower for the Shelter campaign.
Last year, California residents donated more than 117,000 no-longer-used wireless phones to the company’s HopeLine program. The program collects, refurbishes and recycles old cell phones, using the proceeds to award grants of phones, airtime and cash to domestic violence prevention agencies. Phones that can not be refurbished are recycled in an environmentally-sound way. Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless has given back to the communities it serves in California and beyond:
- Verizon Wireless awarded more than $406,000 in cash grants in 2009 to domestic violence agencies in California
- In 2009, HopeLine collected nearly 1.1 million old cell phones nationwide, allowing the company to distribute nearly 23,000 phones with 69 million free minutes of service to almost 600 shelters across the county
- Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 6.7 million phones; awarded more than $7.9 million in cash grants to domestic advocacy groups nationwide; and donated more than 90,000 HopeLine phones with 300 million minutes of airtime to survivors and domestic violence organizations
For more information on Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program and to learn how to donate a wireless phone, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 91 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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 Joe Torre Safe At Home FoundationThe Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation was created in 2002 to bring a greater understanding, awareness and compassion to those suffering through the experience of domestic abuse. Its mission is to educate to end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives. It is under this guiding principle that the Foundation established its signature programming initiative, Margaret’s Place. For more information, please visit http://www.joetorre.org/.