SOUTHFIELD — Verizon Thursday announced its commitment to nine Oakland County nonprofits with donations amounting to $119,600 including grant money to four organizations dedicated to ending domestic violence.

Grants were awarded to the following entities in Oakland County:

* Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County, Pontiac: Funds will enhance the organization’s Steward of Children program that trains and educates parents, parent groups and other organizations working with children about how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the issue of child sexual abuse and neglect.

* Humble Design, Birmingham: The grant will be used to help families who have suffered from domestic abuse as they transition from a shelter to low-income housing by replacing many of the personal items that were left behind when they fled their assailants. Such items include: pillows, mattresses, box springs, bed frames, pots and pans, silverware, dishes, cribs, and children and youth books.

* National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section, Southfield. Funding will support the organization’s Luggage For Freedom program that provides essential items for individuals leaving a domestic abuse situation to begin anew, thereby making their transition smoother to a safe living situation. Items will be given to clients of HAVEN in Pontiac and Alternatives For Girls in Detroit.

* Oakland Literacy Council, Bloomfield Hills: The grant is supporting the development and implementation of a technology resource center to reinforce, promote and supplement the literacy skills of adult students. The goals of the center are to: eliminate and/or reduce the wait time for student entry into the adult literacy program; and use computer technology to enhance education provided by tutors individually and in small groups, and to develop additional skills in areas such as speaking, listening, test preparation reading and vocabulary.

* Volunteers of America-Michigan, Southfield: The grant expanded the organization’s Operation Backpack program and ensured more low-income children in southeastern Michigan returned to school with all the utensils they need to thrive academically, including new backpacks and grade-appropriate education supplies.

Four other Oakland County nonprofits also received grants to support their ongoing client services: The American Heart Association, Southfield; HAVEN,  Pontiac; JARC, Farmington Hills; and North Oakland Family YMCA, Auburn Hills.

Last year in Michigan, Verizon donated nearly $200,000 in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and shelters. Verizon Wireless and HopeLine also donated three million minutes of service to help domestic violence survivors in Michigan in 2010.


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