MORRISTOWN, NJ — The Rutgers University Foundation in New Brunswick, 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 Passaic County Women's Center in Paterson, 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 stores 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 Rutgers' Foundation will support the University's Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victims Assistance programs which help raise awareness and respond to the impact of interpersonal violence on campus. Two programs, in particular, will be supported, The Empty Chair Campaign, which is an outreach effort, and "Don't Cancel Class" which focuses on educating and engaging the university community.
The Empty Chair Campaign, places purple, painted chairs in classrooms representing students unable to attend class because of dating violence. The Don't Cancel Class program is an outreach to faculty as well as students. If a faculty member knows in advance that he/she needs to cancel class on a particular day, Sexual Assault Services will use that time to educate students who may be unaware of domestic violence issues and the services available to them.
"Sexual Assault Services believes that creating a supportive environment across the entire Rutgers campus community is the most effective way to educate constituents about domestic violence," said Ruth Anne Koenick, director of Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance. "The HopeLine grant from Verizon Wireless will allow us to serve as a critical voice in changing prevailing beliefs and attitudes about domestic and dating 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.