IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation and Verizon Wireless today announced the official opening of the Foundation's first West Coast Margaret's Place at the Mark Twain Middle School in the Mar Vista district of Los Angeles. Verizon is serving as the corporate sponsor in the Foundation's expansion into California and will fund the first year of the Mar Vista Margaret's Place through a grant from the Verizon Foundation.
While this is a first on the West Coast, there are currently ten Margaret's Place sites already operating in the New York City area, and the Foundation hopes to establish even more sites in the Los Angeles area.
Joe Torre spoke with students this morning at a ribbon cutting event at the Mark Twain Middle School.
The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation was created to help children grow up in a safe and violence-free environment. Spurred by the domestic violence he witnessed as a child in his own home, Joe started the Foundation in 2002 with his wife Ali in memory of his mother, Margaret. Its goal is to raise awareness, provide support to youth exposed to violence and to develop educational programs to end the cycle of violence and save lives.
Margaret's Place is a comprehensive program which provides middle and high school students a safe room in schools where they can talk with each other and with a professional counselor trained in domestic violence intervention and prevention. Core components of the program include individual and group counseling, violence prevention classroom curriculum, peer leadership groups, and workshops for staff, parents and families. The Margaret's Place room is a non-threatening environment that has proven to be an effective setting in which to promote discussion of issues surrounding violence and increasing personal safety, as well as offering peer support and education.
"Ali and I have seen the positive results of Margaret's Places in the New York area, and we are thrilled to expand our work to Los Angeles," said Torre. "We are very proud to have a partner like Verizon, which is an exceptional corporate leader and advocate for raising awareness of domestic violence. Together, we can help educate students and end the cycle of domestic violence."
Luis Cruz, president of the Southern California Region of Verizon Wireless, said, "The most important thing we can do to break the cycle of violence is to speak up and break the silence around abuse. I am so proud to support Joe and Ali and their personal commitment, that is helping so many kids who need to know they are not alone and that there is help."
Verizon has a long history of supporting domestic violence prevention and awareness programs through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program and the Verizon Foundation. Supporting initiatives to increase awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a major focus for Verizon's philanthropic activities. In the past three years, the company has awarded nearly $6 million to nonprofits in California that focus on domestic violence prevention.
Nationally, since founding HopeLine in 2001, Verizon Wireless has:
- Collected more than 8 million phones.
- Awarded more than $10 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and organizations throughout the country.
- Distributed more than 106,000 phones with more than 319 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence.
- Properly disposed of nearly 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones in an environmentally sound way.
- Kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
About the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation
The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation was created in 2002 to bring a greater understanding, awareness and compassion to those suffering through the experience of domestic abuse. Its mission is to educate to end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives. It is under this guiding principle that the Foundation established its signature programming initiative, Margaret's Place. For more information, please visit www.joetorre.org.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's fastest, most advanced 4G 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.
SOURCE Verizon Wireless