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Verizon to Invest $125,000 to Support Domestic Violence Outreach, Prevention, Education and Awareness Programs in Virginia
Date:6/21/2011

RICHMOND, Va., June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon has a long history of investing in programs that help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives while raising awareness of this issue.  This year, the Verizon Foundation and HopeLine® from Verizon program will invest a total of $125,000 to support domestic violence outreach, prevention, education and awareness programs in Virginia and help those affected by domestic abuse break the cycle of violence.

The Verizon Foundation is offering $50,000 of the available $125,000 to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies in Virginia for Domestic Violence Solutions Grants.  Individual grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded for domestic violence prevention and service initiatives.  

An additional $50,000 will be awarded to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations for programs and initiatives that support workforce development and training, with special consideration given to programs that promote professional development and technological skills training.

All grant applications must be submitted through the Verizon Foundation's website, www.verizonfoundation.org/apply , using invitation code 684HXXGD4V.  The request for proposal will be available online starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 22.  

Up to $25,000 in grant funding will be awarded to qualified individuals, in increments of $1,000 to $5,000, through the HopeLine Entrepreneurship Program which provides funding to entrepreneurs who have escaped the cycle of domestic violence and are ready to put their skills to work to start a small business.  For more information about applying for this grant, contact hopelinesmallbizwbv@verizonwireless.com. Providing startup funding to survivors of domestic violence promotes economic self-sufficiency and helps ensure long-term safety and stability.

In 2011, the Verizon Foundation's domestic violence prevention priorities include: engaging men in domestic violence awareness and prevention; mobilizing teens to engage in healthy relationships; and spreading domestic violence prevention and awareness through the sharing of the documentary "Telling Amy's Story," available at www.telling.psu.edu.

"Domestic violence devastates families and communities," said Mike Maiorana, regional president for the Virginia/D.C./Maryland region of Verizon Wireless.  "The Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program from Verizon Wireless recognizes that the character traits and problem-solving skills which survivors relied upon to escape the cycle of violence are identical to the skills needed to successfully bring an entrepreneurial venture to life.  We hope to enable survivors to use their grit, determination and hard-won skills to step into an entrepreneurial role and achieve economic independence."

Robert Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia, said, "As a major employer and corporate citizen across Virginia, Verizon cares deeply about the communities we serve.  That's why we are always striving to find creative solutions to social issues such as domestic violence."

Since 2007, the Verizon Foundation has donated more than $820,000 to domestic violence prevention and service programs in Virginia.  Nationally, it has awarded more than $21 million in grants to nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence.  

Under the HopeLine program, no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories are collected at Verizon Wireless stores, or by mail, to help victims of domestic violence.  The devices are refurbished or recycled in an environmentally friendly way.  The program provides wireless phones and airtime, and cash grants, to local shelters and nonprofit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.  

In addition, proceeds from HopeLine fund a variety of innovative programs.  For example, HopeLine recently awarded grants to provide: college scholarships for a deceased victim's two young children; video technology to enable 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.

Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 8 million phones nationwide, 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.

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.  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.  

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

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, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news.  To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.


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