BIRMINGHAM, AL — The Verizon Foundation announced earlier today at a press conference that it has awarded $80,000 in grant funding to eight non-profit organizations across Alabama. Seven grants totaling $60,000 will go to support programs across the state that address domestic and dating violence issues among teens and young adults as the culmination of a 2011 Request for Proposals by the Foundation. The Foundation also today presented an additional $20,000 to the One Place Family Justice Center in Montgomery.
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 2011, the Verizon Foundation invited Alabama non-profits working in the area of domestic violence and dating education to submit proposals for programs that addressed one of the following challenges:
- Domestic violence prevention among teenagers and young adults,
- Education for teenagers about healthy relationships and dating violence prevention,
- Education for young men about how not to be a perpetrator of domestic or sexual violence, or both, and,
- Domestic violence prevention and education among teens utilizing technology and social media.
Seven programs were ultimately chosen to receive funding.
“We were impressed and inspired by the quality of the initiatives that these Alabama organizations have either already launched or plan to implement to address relationship violence among teens,” said Jonathan LeCompte, Georgia/Alabama Region President for Verizon Wireless. “We are excited that the Verizon Foundation was able to contribute to each of these worthwhile programs.”
Organizations receiving grants as part of the request for proposals include:
- Alabama Coalition Against Sexual Violence – Funding for a project of the Alabama Men’s Initiative focused on preventing sexual violence by building awareness of the issue among young men. Funding would allow the Coalition to continue prevention outreach efforts by hosting workshops, presentations, trainings and the recruitment of men. Project will address young men in Limestone and Madison Counties.
- Crisis Center of Russell County – Funding for a Prevention Educator to attend training in order to introduce new programs including Safe Dates, Bully Proof and Consent vs. Coercion to schools in Russell County.
- Jefferson County Coordinated Community Response (in care of The Women’s Fund of Birmingham) – Funding will be used to build upon previous successes of CCR, now entering its fifth year as a collaborative effort engaging courts, law enforcement, and social service agencies to work together across disciplines to ensure safety for domestic violence victims, accountability for perpetrators, and to change the climate in the community to reduce domestic violence.
- Montgomery Area Family Violence Program – Funding for outreach and prevention targeting children and teens with school-based violence prevention education program “Safe Dates,” which addresses sexual assault and dating violence. The Montgomery Area Family Violence Programs will use the funds to present “Safe Dates” to 8th grade students at four schools.
- West Anniston Foundation – Funding for the Foundations “My Best Life” program, which is based on the Intimate Partner Violence guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. “My Best Life” presentations and instruction will be provided to students in 30-minute daily programs through the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Monthly PTO meetings will provide information to parents and teachers.
- YWCA of Central Alabama – Funding will be used to produce a comprehensive domestic violence education CD for high school youth. The CD will include YWCA version of the popular hit song "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan, recorded by former Birmingham Police Chief and current YWCA Court Advocate Annetta Nunn.
- Junior League of Birmingham – Funding will be used to support projects that fall under the Safety & Crisis Intervention Impact Area. Two specific projects that will be funded through the grant are the Rape Response Advocate Program and Children in Crisis. Junior League of Birmingham volunteers serve as advocates for survivors of sexual assault as well as help children who have witnessed or been victims of domestic violence.
In addition to the grants above, the Verizon Foundation presented a $20,000 grant to the One Place Family Justice Center in Montgomery to be used to help underserved domestic violence survivors, particularly those within the Hispanic, Asian, deaf and elderly communities. One Place plans to use the funds to provide cultural training for the staff and bi-lingual and culturally relevant materials to communities.
Verizon has a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention. Verizon Wireless supports survivors of domestic violence through its HopeLine® program. Through HopeLine, no-longer-used wireless phones are collected and recycled or refurbished to support domestic violence survivors. Since 2001, Verizon has collected more than 9 million wireless phones and awarded more than $14 million in cash grants to prevention and awareness programs nationwide. For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, go to www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
In 2010, the Verizon 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. For more information on the foundation or to apply for a grant, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 107 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $106.6 billion in 2010 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.