PITTSFIELD, Mass. – To help address the continuing problem of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation announced today that it has donated $10,000 to Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield to support a program that helps educate people with disabilities about domestic violence.
The center is one of 15 nonprofit agencies across Massachusetts selected by the Verizon Foundation as recipients of the 2010 Domestic Violence Solutions Awards.
Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Disability Access to Safety Project provides dynamic outreach, prevention education and domestic violence/sexual assault services to people with differing abilities throughout Berkshire County. Working together with disability advocacy and service organizations as project partners, the center will organize training sessions about identifying need, assessing barriers to service and developing outreach materials and protocols to help people with differing abilities suffering from abuse. The goal is to be more responsive to survivors of violence who might not otherwise get help they need to be safe, recover and rebuild their lives.
“Domestic violence is a problem that affects all members of families and tears at the basic fabric of our society,” said Cupelo. “These funds will go a long way in helping to educate Massachusetts residents about abuse, the steps needed for prevention, and assisting those people who are trapped in abusive relationships to get help and restore their lives.”
Elizabeth Freeman Center and the other 14 recipients of the awards were recognized at a ceremony at WGBH-TV studios where a screening of the Verizon Foundation-funded documentary, “Telling Amy’s Story” took place. The documentary, created by Penn State Public Broadcasting, recounts the tragic story of a Verizon employee who was a domestic violence homicide victim.
“I want to thank Verizon for helping support the ongoing efforts of the Elizabeth Freeman Center to reduce domestic violence in the Berkshires,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield). “The services provided by the Center are more needed than ever before, and support -- like this award from Verizon -- is crucial if we want to ensure that those who need services can get them.”
Other organizations receiving Verizon Foundation domestic violence prevention grants are:
• Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (Boston)
• Casa Myrna Vazquez (Boston)
• DOVE, Inc. (Quincy)
• Emerge: Men’s Counseling Service on Domestic Violence (Cambridge)
• Girls Incorporated of Worcester
• Healing Abuse Working for Change (Salem)
• Impact (Malden)
• Jane Doe Inc. (Boston)
• Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center (Newburyport)
• Katie Brown Educational Program (Fall River)
• New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (Greenfield)
• Safe Passage (Northampton)
• Voices Against Violence (Framingham)
• Womanshelter/Companeras (Holyoke)
Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a major concentration for Verizon and its philanthropic activities. In the past 3 years, the company has awarded approximately $1 million to nonprofits that focus on domestic violence in Massachusetts.
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.
Verizon Wireless Hopeline collects no-longer-used wireless phones and puts them to work in the community by turning them into support for domestic violence survivors. Phones collected through Hopeline recycling drives are refurbished, recycled or sold, and proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups in the form of cash grants and prepaid wireless phones for survivors. Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
Since 2001, Verizon Wireless has distributed more than 90,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence. Through HopeLine’s recycling efforts, more than 1.6 million no-longer-used wireless phones have been disposed of properly; more than 170,000 pounds of batteries have been recycled; and more than 200 tons of electronics waste and batteries have been kept out of landfills. For more information about HopeLine, visit www.verizonwireless.com/HopeLine.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org
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 mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 92 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.