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Verizon Announces $95,000 In Grant Funding To Alabama Non-Profit Organizations At First Lady Dianne Bentley's Domestic Violence Awareness Month Candlelight Vigil

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.

Additionally, the Verizon Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to the Auburn University Foundation for the Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing to support its RADAR (Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse Resources) program. For Funding will support the development of a mobile application for healthcare providers, enabling them to better identify domestic abuse victims and provide them available resources.

Bringing Domestic Violence Prevention Message into Alabama SchoolsRecognizing the need to inform young adults about domestic violence, the First Lady will team up with Verizon throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month to reach into Alabama high schools to educate teens on healthy relationships and teen dating violence. This will include events in conjunction with Montgomery's Family Sunshine Center, Huntsville's Crisis Services of North Alabama and Birmingham's YWCA of Central Alabama.

Alabamians Can Get Involved by Donating to HopeLineAlabamians can get directly involved in assisting victims of domestic violence and domestic violence organizations by donating old phones and accessories to HopeLine. Proceeds from the HopeLine program are used to provide wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.  Consumers can donate their phones at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores or by mail using the postage-paid mailing label available at www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 100.1 million retail customers, including 94.3 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 73,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.  For the latest news and updates about Verizon Wireless, visit our News Center at http://news.verizonwireless.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNews

About The Verizon FoundationThe Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live.  Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit  www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter ( www.twitter.com/verizongiving).

SOURCE Verizon

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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