BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and ST. PAUL, MN — Verizon Wireless today announced that the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community (IDVAAC) was presented with a $50,000 donation from HopeLine® from Verizon at the Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound grand finale in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13. The donation will help the IDVAAC continue on its mission to raise awareness of domestic violence in the African-American community and demonstrates Verizon Wireless’ ongoing commitment to this important cause.
Voices of Destiny of Greater Zion Church Family of Compton, Calif., was named the winner of the 2010 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition at the grand finale event and received over $42,000, along with other prizes, including the opportunity to perform at the 2011 Stellar Awards and Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, the only NFL-sanctioned gospel event. The evening was hosted by GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel legends CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence, and award-winning artists Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard and Fred Hammond served as judges. Special guest and gospel legend, BeBe Winans, also joined his sister, CeCe Winans, for a memorable performance.
During the regional Verizon How Sweet the Sound tour, participating choirs were encouraged to collect and donate no-longer used wireless phones to HopeLine from Verizon, and more than 11,000 phones were collected nationwide. The long-running HopeLine program puts the nation’s most reliable wireless network to work in the community by turning no-longer-used wireless phones into support for those affected by domestic violence. 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.
“We are truly honored to receive this donation from Verizon Wireless,” said Dr. Oliver J. Williams, executive director of the IDVAAC. “This donation will allow us to continue on our mission, to prevent and raise awareness of the unique circumstances that African-Americans face related to domestic violence, and educate and connect our communities on this important issue.”
According to the IDVAAC, African-American women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35 percent higher than their white counterparts and 2.5 times the rate of men and other races, and in 2005, African-Americans accounted for almost one-third of intimate partner homicides in the United States.
“Although domestic violence affects all races, recent statistics show that African-American women are especially at risk,” said Elva Lima, executive director of community relations for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless is committed to raising awareness of and helping to prevent domestic violence, and our donation will help the IDVAAC to further raise community consciousness of the impact of domestic violence in the African-American community.”
Since the launch of the cell phone recycling program in 2001, HopeLine from Verizon has collected more than 7 million phones, given out more than $7.9 million in cash grants, and distributed more than 90,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service for use by domestic violence survivors. For more information on HopeLine, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnkDUsmkQlk.
For more information on Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition and to view video of the grand finale and regional competitions, go to www.howsweetthesound.com. To learn more about HopeLine from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline, and visit http://www.idvaac.org/ to read more about the IDVAAC.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 79,000 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. 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.
About the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community
The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) is an organization focused on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they face issues related to domestic violence – including intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder maltreatment, and community violence. IDVAAC’s mission is to enhance society’s understanding of and ability to end violence in the African-American community. Within this context, IDVAAC works with African-American communities, including families, individuals, and organizations serving the target population; legal and criminal justice systems; family and community violence practitioners; researchers; and policymakers around efforts to build the knowledge base regarding African Americans and domestic violence and to develop strategies to meet the service needs of this population.