MORRISTOWN, NJ — The Passaic County Women's Center in Paterson, NJ, is one of three nonprofit organizations to benefit from $30,000 in grants announced today by Verizon Wireless. The grants, $10,000 each, were awarded to fund new or expanded domestic violence prevention and education programs in the New York Metro area and were made possible through the company's HopeLine® wireless phone recycling program. Other 2005 HopeLine grant recipients are the Rutgers University Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ, and The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families in New York City.
Verizon Wireless created its HopeLine program 10 years ago to put the company's wireless products and services to work to help victims of domestic violence enhance their safety. The cornerstone of the program is the recycling of no-longer-used wireless phones, collected at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores throughout the New York Metro area and across the nation. Proceeds from the program were used to fund the three $10,000 grants. During the past three years, Verizon Wireless has awarded nine grants in New York and New Jersey, totaling $90,000, in addition to numerous phone and cash donations.
"All community-minded citizens who turned in their old wireless phones at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores have helped to make these grants possible," said Charles Hand, Verizon Wireless New York Metro Region president. "Clearly, the HopeLine phone recycling program is working to support domestic violence prevention and help women re-build their lives."
The HopeLine grant to the Passaic County Women's Center will support The Clothesline Project, a unique program that helps raise the public's awareness of domestic violence and serves as a healing tool, for survivors, friends and family whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence. The program's concept is simple -- each woman tells her story in her own unique way, using words and/or artwork to decorate a T-shirt. Once shirts are finished, survivors, friends and family can hang their shirts on a special clothesline and can literally turn their backs on some of the pain of their experience and walk away. It also allows those who are still suffering in silence to understand that they are not alone. The clothesline will be displayed at various local events.
Shirts are displayed in different colors; each color symbolizes a different form of violence individuals have survived. For example, red, pink and orange represent sexual violence, while yellow represents domestic violence.
"Any tool that will allow us to raise the public's awareness, help in the healing process for a survivor, and provide support to a victim benefits the entire community," said Sophie Robinson, executive director of the Passaic County Women's Center. "The HopeLine grant from Verizon Wireless will allow us to serve as a critical voice in changing prevailing beliefs and attitudes about domestic violence."
As a result of HopeLine and related phone recycling programs the company has organized since 1995, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 2.5 million used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims and advocacy groups, including nearly 100,000 wireless handsets in the New York Metro area. Donations are accepted at all 73 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in the New York Metro area. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline. For additional information about HopeLine, visit the HopeLine Web site at www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.