BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI — Children forced to call one local domestic violence shelter "home" might feel a bit more "at home" now thanks to a new library funded by Jewish Women International (JWI) and Verizon Wireless. The two organizations are establishing a new children's library at HAVEN, the Oakland County-based domestic and sexual violence organization.
The new library will feature hundreds of brand new children's books; three solid oak bookcases; one child-sized rocking chair; an adult rocking chair; a child-sized study table with four chairs; and one 7' x 7' colorful carpet.
"All too often, women and children fleeing from an abusive household aren't able to bring anything with them besides the clothes on their backs," said Beth Morrison, CEO of HAVEN. "This can be particularly difficult for children, as they are forced to leave behind all that is comforting and familiar, such as their books and toys. This new library will provide our youngest residents with a safe and secure place to read, study, play and just be kids."
JWI's Detroit chapter raised more than $5,000 and Verizon Wireless donated $10,000 to build this library, which is one of 17 operational children's libraries in battered women's shelters throughout the country. JWI's National Library Initiative, in partnership with volunteers, businesses and corporations, is working to establish 100 children's libraries in shelters across the United States by the end of 2010. Each library will provide a chance for kids enduring difficult circumstances to continue to learn and grow.
"Our National Library Initiative would not be as successful without the tremendous support of organizations like Verizon Wireless, an organization equally committed to domestic violence awareness and prevention," said Lori Weinstein, executive director of Jewish Women International. "We are so fortunate to have found such a devoted community partner with whom to join forces and make our society a better place.
"Verizon Wireless has a longstanding history of supporting literacy and domestic violence initiatives," said Greg Haller, presidentMichigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region, Verizon Wireless. "We hope this library at HAVEN feeds the children's creativity and strengthens their desire to learn."
Community members are encouraged to help fill the shelves by donating new children's books to the library. For more information on how to make donations, please contact Belle Kleinberg, of HAVEN, at 248-334-1284, ext. 659.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 59 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 65,000 employees nationwide. The company 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.
Jewish Women International employs education, advocacy and action to break the cycle of domestic violence and relationship abuse and create safe homes, healthy relationships and strong women in communities around the world. For more information, please contact us at 800.343.2823 or visit www.jwi.org.
Editor's Note: To take a tour of the children's library at HAVEN, please contact Michelle Gilbert, of Verizon Wireless, at 248-915-3680.