TARENTUM, PA — Children who call Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center a temporary home can now find educational refuge at a library established by Jewish Women International (JWI) and Verizon in the Tarentum shelter.
The Verizon Foundation and HopeLine® program donated $15,000 to JWI’s National Library Initiative for the Tarentum facility, the second in Pennsylvania and the newest of 41 libraries established in the nation.
JWI’s National Library Initiative is working in partnership with volunteers, businesses and corporations to establish 100 children’s libraries in domestic violence shelters across the United States. Each library provides a chance for children enduring difficult circumstances to continue to learn and grow, according to JWI officials.
The Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center, which offers counseling, safe shelter and education for survivors of domestic violence and their families, used the Verizon funds to transform an underutilized group space into a library—complete with 500 new books, small and large rocking chairs, bookcases, a study table and chairs and area rugs. In addition, Verizon and its Pittsburgh area employees are collecting books to donate to the Center’s children.
“All too often, women and children fleeing from an abusive home aren’t able to bring anything with them,” said Michelle Bond, executive director for Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center. “A library for children can be of particular comfort, especially when children are forced to leave behind all that is familiar and comfortable, such as books and toys.”
JWI’s National Library Initiative was launched in 2006 as an effort to reach the youngest victims of domestic violence and place them on a path to educational stability, emotional recovery and future success. Children fleeing abusive situations suffer from emotional trauma as well as an interruption in their education. This can lead to permanent academic deficits and later workforce challenges, as well as a continuing risk of entering into abusive relationships in their teens and adult lives. The library program breaks the cycle of violence by creating safe havens within shelters where children can study, read, do homework and form a healthy bond with their mothers.
“Our National Library Initiative would not be as successful without the tremendous support of corporations like Verizon, a company equally committed to domestic violence awareness and prevention,” said Lori Weinstein, executive director of JWI. “We are fortunate to have found such a devoted community partner with whom to join forces.”
“This new library demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making a difference in the communities where we live and work,” said Mark Frazier, president-Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless. “We hope this library at Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center feeds the creativity of children in temporary refuge 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 Lauren Levine, of Jewish Women International, at 800-343-2823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jewish Women International
Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Our innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or contact us at 800-343-2823.
About Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center
The HOPE Center is an organization of social change whose mission is the safe elimination of domestic violence through intervention, prevention and collaboration. Incorporated in 1979, and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, HOPE has been serving the communities of the Allegheny and Kiski River Valleys for more than 30 years. HOPE offers a full array of services that are strengths-based and solutions-focused; including 24-hour emergency hotline, 30-day emergency shelter, 12-month transitional/self-sufficiency housing, advocacy in the courts, individual and group crisis intervention, and prevention programming in schools, and information and technical assistance for community stakeholders. Through all of its programs and services HOPE touches the lives of nearly 20,000 individuals each year – more than 3000 of them direct victims of domestic violence. For more information, please visit www.akhopecenter.org or contact us at 724-224-1100 or tollfree hotline for advocacy services 1-888-299-4673.
About Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
About Verizon Communications
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 nearly 108 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 $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
Since the national recycling program began in 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 9 million phones; awarded more than $14 million in cash grants to prevention and awareness programs nationwide; and distributed more than 123,000 HopeLine phones with more than 406 million minutes of airtime to victims, survivors and domestic violence organizations. The program has also properly disposed of more than 1 million phones in an environmentally sound way and refurbished the remaining units. To learn more about HopeLine from Verizon and to become involved, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.