MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon announced $95,000 in grant funding to a number of Alabama domestic violence prevention organizations Tuesday ( Oct. 1) at First Lady Dianne Bentley's Domestic Violence Awareness Month Candlelight Vigil. The event brought together dozens of advocates, law enforcement officers and victim support workers for an event honoring victims and energizing those who provide support and prevention services.
Verizon Establishes Annual Grant Honoring First Lady BentleyAs part of the announcement, a $5,000 HopeLine ® from Verizon grant was awarded to Harriet's House in Demopolis for their efforts to raise citywide awareness with purple ribbons placed throughout downtown Demopolis. This was the first of what will become the annual "First Lady Dianne Bentley Champion for the Cause Award," to be presented each October to an Alabama non-profit organization doing innovative work around the cause of domestic violence awareness. Verizon's HopeLine program turns no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for domestic violence victims and survivors. Verizon named First Lady Bentley a HopeLine Hero in 2012 after she led a drive to collect 2,500 phones in just 30 days. Since that initial drive, her work has generated donations exceeding 7,000 phones.
"First Lady Bentley has proven to be a true champion for victims of domestic violence, and her efforts have delivered new attention and energy to this cause across the state of Alabama," said Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama Region, Verizon Wireless. "This HopeLine grant in her honor is intended to encourage others to follow in her footsteps, so that our actions today may prevent domestic violence from happening tomorrow."
Eight Non-Profit Organizations Receive GrantsSeven organizations that answered a Verizon request for proposals focused on domestic violence prevention programming earlier this year were awarded $10,000 grants from the Verizon Foundation and HopeLine:
- Turning Point ( Tuscaloosa) – Funding the organization's primary violence prevention education and community outreach targeted to West Alabama youth grades 6-12.
- Harriet's House ( Demopolis) – Funding "Code Purple," a first responder education program.
- Family Sunshine Center ( Montgomery) – Funding "Safe Dates," a teen dating education program for middle- and high-school students.
- 2 nd Chance ( Anniston) – Funding "Safe Dates" program, in partnership with Calhoun County and Anniston City Schools.
- SafePlace (Florence) – Funding the "Lethality Assessment Program," in partnership with law enforcement and first responders.
- One Place Family Justice Center ( Montgomery) – Funding "A Call to Men," a program designed to empower men to speak out against domestic violence.
- YWCA of Central Alabama ( Birmingham) – Funding a program to train healthcare providers on screening patients for domestic violence.
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