YWCA Somerset Family Village To Open Children's Library For Youngest Victims Of Domestic Abuse In Washington

BELLEVUE, WA — Children who call the YWCA Somerset Family Village a temporary home can now find literary refuge at a library established by Jewish Women International (JWI), YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish and the Verizon Foundation in the Lynnwood shelter. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at YWCA Somerset Family Village in Lynnwood, WA.

The Verizon Foundation donated $15,000 to JWI’s National Library Initiative for the Lynnwood facility, the first in Washington and the newest of 38 such libraries established in the nation.

JWI’s National Library Initiative is working in partnership with volunteers, businesses and corporations to establish 100 children’s libraries in domestic violence shelters across the United States. Each library provides a chance for children enduring difficult circumstances to continue to learn and grow, according to JWI officials.

The YWCA Somerset Family Village, which offers counseling, safe shelter and education for survivors of domestic violence and their families, used the Verizon funds to transform an underutilized group space into a library – complete with 150 new books, small and large rocking chairs, bookcases, a study table, chairs and area rugs. In addition, Verizon Wireless and its Washington employees donated another couple hundred books for the Center’s children.

JWI’s National Library Initiative was launched in 2006 as an effort to reach the youngest victims of domestic violence and place them on a path to educational stability, emotional recovery and future success. Children fleeing abusive situations suffer from emotional trauma as well as an interruption in their education. This can lead to permanent academic deficits and later workforce challenges, as well as a continuing risk of entering into abusive relationships in their teens and adult lives. The library program breaks the cycle of violence by creating safe havens within shelters where children can study, read, do homework and form a healthy bond with their mothers.

The Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless are recognized nationally for their support of domestic violence awareness and prevention initiatives along with literacy programs. Verizon Foundation has invested more than $28 million in domestic violence prevention and education efforts.

Through its long-running HopeLine® phone recycling and reuse program that turns no-longer-used wireless phones into support for survivors of domestic violence, Verizon Wireless has awarded more than $10 million in cash grants and 319 million minutes of service to help domestic violence organizations and their clients nationwide since 2011. In Washington last year, the company donated more than $300,000 in cash grants, phones and airtime to local domestic violence agencies and shelters.

Community members are encouraged to help fill the shelves by donating new children’s books to the library. For more information on how to make donations, please contact Luanne Kunz, of YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, at (425) 258-2766 or lkunz@ywcaworks.org.

About Jewish Women InternationalJewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Our innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or contact us at 800-343-2823.

About the Verizon FoundationThe 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. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

About YWCA Seattle | King | SnohomishThe YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish has a proud history of advancing the quality of life for women of all ages, races and faiths, and their families. Since 1894, the YWCA has provided services to meet critical needs, promote self-sufficiency, reduce violence and achieve equal opportunities for all people. The YWCA serves 60,000 women and families in King and Snohomish counties each year with these critical services: housing, basic needs, employment training, job placement, domestic violence advocacy, health care services and child and youth development. For more information, visit ywcaworks.org.