“Our goal is to provide Latino children and teens with the opportunity to discuss their problems and concerns with staff who speaks their language and fully understands their cultural background,” said Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director of 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. “Communicating in your native language makes the difference between feeling left out and feeling understood, but also allows the development of a culturally-relevant plan that would resolve problems or concerns. We are grateful that Verizon is so generous and provided us with the needed funds to expand our program to the Latino community.”
2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline has been a one stop, all encompassing helpline for youth in New Jersey since it launched statewide in 2008. Young people ages 10-24 can call anytime and discuss their problems and concerns with trained helpline staff. All calls are confidential and anonymous and no topic is off limits. Each month, nearly 10,000 calls are handled by the 2NDFLOOR staff and topics ranging from teen dating and family violence to peer pressure, bullying and sexuality.
“Regardless of where you live or what your native tongue is, young people today are subject to cyber-bullying and other pressures that were unheard of a generation ago. A bilingual helpline will allow young people who do not speak English, or those who prefer to speak in Spanish, to find support and comfort no matter what their problems are,” said New Jersey Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno.
Verizon is committed to preventing and raising awareness about domestic violence through its efforts throughout communities. Through HopeLine, Verizon collects used cell phones to be recycled or sold and donates the proceeds in the form of cash grants and pre-paid wireless phones to advocacy groups for use by survivors. Verizon was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones, and has done so on behalf of survivors of domestic violence since January 1999 – first in New York and then across the U.S. Through UHopeLine, Verizon has also expanded its recycling efforts to college campuses like Rutgers University. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 8 million phones, properly disposed of 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones, and kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
In addition, proceeds from HopeLine fund a variety of innovative programs. For example, HopeLine recently awarded grants to provide for: the printing of training documents that assist employers in recognizing and addressing the threat of domestic violence in the workplace; video technology that allows domestic violence's youngest victims, children, to participate in legal proceedings from a safe environment; and startup funding for entrepreneurial survivors of domestic violence attempting to establish small businesses and economic stability.
“We know that many young people struggle with various issues growing up, regardless of their cultural background,” said Pat Devlin, president of the New York Metro Region for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon is proud to support the Spanish helpline that 2NDFLOOR is introducing in New Jersey. It will not only surmount the barriers of communication for many, but we’re certain that it will also bring a lot of positive change throughout our communities.”
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. The Verizon Foundation also supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity, which furthers the awareness and prevention of domestic violence while providing relief and safety to survivors.
For more information on Verizon Wireless 3G and 4G LTE networks, products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com or call1-800-2 JOIN IN. Follow Verizon Wireless on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. For more information on 180 Turning Lives Around and the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline, please visit www.180nj.org.
About 2NDFLOOR® Youth Helpline
The 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline is a safe place for New Jersey’s youth to turn when everyday problems become difficult or unmanageable. The 24-hour, confidential and anonymous helpline and accompanying online message board is available to more than one million youth ages 10-24 throughout New Jersey. It is operated by 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc., a private Monmouth County nonprofit organization dedicated to serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. For more information, visit http://www.2ndfloor.org/ or call 888-222-2228. To find out more about 180, visit http://www.180nj.org/ or call 732-264-4111.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 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.
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