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Grants Totaling $229,000 To Florida Organizations Highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As national Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) comes to a close this October, the Verizon Foundation and the HopeLine® program from Verizon have announced $229,000 in 2012 grants to various Florida organizations in a broad effort to help victims of domestic abuse.

The organizations include shelters, universities, community groups and others across the state.  The grants support programs that aid and empower victims and their families, educate potential abusers, raise awareness in the workplace, engage law enforcement and provide resources to numerous other initiatives.

"Domestic abuse is a tragic and widespread problem in Florida and around the nation," said Pam Tope, Florida region president of Verizon Wireless.  "We're proud to punctuate Domestic Violence Awareness Month with these grants, and to devote resources all year to so many great organizations."

New DVAM grant highlights include $140,000 to the Institute for Family Violence Studies at Florida State University, which works with Florida's criminal justice community to prevent and reduce domestic violence in law enforcement families.  Last year, Verizon contributed $50,000 to this same FSU program in its inaugural year.

Other 2012 grants from Verizon in Florida include:

Peaceful Paths, Gainesville: $20,000
The Children's Health Program provides health services to children and parents who have either witnessed or been the targets of domestic abuse.  The effort teaches safety planning, identifying the traits of healthy relationships, handling and expressing emotions appropriately, and increased self-esteem. 

The Spring of Tampa Bay: $15,000
The Newspapers in Education Teen Dating Violence Prevention community outreach program works with guidance counselors, teachers and other contacts in local high schools to educate teens regarding healthy relationships. 

Domestic Abuse Center of the Keys: $15,000
A Call to Men, a three-day advanced training program is designed to help domestic violence organizations and counselors engage young men and adults in the understanding of domestic abuse, and a commitment against violence.

Salvation Army of Panama City: $15,000
The grant will help support the Panama City Salvation Army's domestic abuse safe house and a new program to provide counseling services for domestic abuse victims and their families.  The counseling is designed to boost clients' mental and emotional health, and their self-esteem.

Hubbard House, Jacksonville: $14,000
Creating Opportunities and Career Help (COACH) is a new effort to help survivors of domestic violence in securing economic stability through rewarding employment, so victims do not have to choose between an abusive relationship or economic hardship.

SafeSpace of Miami: $10,000
The Women's Empowerment Program is a collaborative effort between Safespace and the Miami-Dade County Advocates for Victims Program.  The program fosters self-esteem, goal setting, assertiveness and communication skill building, financial education, healthy relationships, parenting, interview tips, computer training and resume writing.

The new DVAM grants are in addition to Verizon contributions of almost $50,000 earlier in 2012 that include $15,000 to The Lodge in Miami to fund an on-site library for survivor families; $10,000 to Harbor House in Orlando for a program to empowering survivors through technology; $10,000 to Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) in Sarasota for its teen dating violence program; $4,000 to the Salvation Army in Panama City for its domestic violence prevention efforts; and $2,500 each to Are You Safe?, Center Against Spousal Abuse, The Spring and the Family Justice Center in Tampa Bay to honor local "HopeLine Heroes" for their efforts against domestic violence.

Florida residents can participate in the Verizon HopeLine program all year by dropping a no-longer-used wireless phone into collection bins at every Verizon Wireless store.  The phones are then refurbished and/or recycled to benefit domestic violence agencies and victims.  For more details on HopeLine, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

For general information, visit www.verizon.com or www.verizonfoundation.org.

About Verizon
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 96 million retail customers 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 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

SOURCE Verizon Wireless



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