SOUTHFIELD — Verizon announced this week that it gave $141,000 in grants to Michigan domestic violence shelters and related organizations, and donated 3.4 million minutes of mobile phone service on 1,100 devices during 2012.

Grants were all in the amount of $10,000 per organization and were distributed in Michigan in 2012 include:
* Dominion Family Services of Southfield will use funds to help reduce fees, provide free seats and defray costs in its anti-domestic violence programs, such as Men@Work. Men@Work teaches and encourages the practice of non-violent relationship skills and self-management tools that help men respond to conflict properly in relationships. Teaching and practice techniques include role-play exercises, video and DVD presentations as well as group discussions.
* The Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan will leverage the funds from the Verizon grant to help support “Just the Facts.” The program reaches nearly 1,100 students in 15 high school and middle schools throughout a five county rural area in northern Michigan and focuses on dating violence and building healthy relationships. Each of the four sessions in each program provides information and education using small and large group discussions, lecture, video, handouts and interactive activities with roleplaying. Monies from Verizon are helping to pay for program evaluation and overall management, transportation costs to and from schools, supplies and materials, some marketing and advertising messages that can impact this youth population.  It will also assist in providing the Coordinator with ongoing training and professional development activities.
* AWARE Inc. of Jackson will use its grant award to help to enhance the nonprofits’ already existing Teen Dating Violence Prevention program by providing the necessary funding to begin a Teen Group. Teen Group is a counseling group for adolescents that assist to educate and empower survivors of dating violence to promote healthy relationships. AWARE has partnered with the Jackson County Intermediate School District to assist with scheduling presentations, contacting area high schools, and providing communications support. Since receiving Verizon’s grant in October 2012, AWARE has provided three presentations focused on TDVP, and reached nearly 300 individuals. Of the nearly 300 attendees, 95 percent of the individuals were high school aged teens. AWARE strives to eliminate domestic and sexual violence while promoting social change and empowering survivors by offering shelter and services, and we hope to help break the cycle of violence by actively educating Jackson County’s youth.
* Every Woman’s Place of Muskegon will use funds from the Verizon grant to maintain its dating violence prevention program in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo and Oceana counties. The program, which helped 600 students last year alone, works to educate students in grades 8-12 and local community college students about red flags in abusive relationships while teaching bystander intervention.
* End Violent Encounters of Lansing received funding from the Verizon Foundation to help raise awareness about teen dating violence and to promote healthy relationships through classroom-based presentations, workshops, billboards and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Through HopeLine, Verizon collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories — in any condition, and from any carrier — and puts them to work in the community by turning them into support for domestic violence survivors. Phones collected through HopeLine are either refurbished and sold or recycled, and proceeds are donated to organizations that work against domestic violence in the form of cash grants and prepaid Verizon Wireless phones for survivors.

Michigan residents are encouraged to donate no-longer-used phones and accessories by dropping them off in the HopeLine bins at local Verizon Wireless stores, or by downloading postage-paid mailing labels from the HopeLine website.

Verizon Wireless offers a direct link for help across its nationwide wireless network through #HOPE, which provides survivors with an avenue to safety and independence. By dialing “#HOPE” from any Verizon Wireless phone on the nationwide network, survivors of domestic violence are able to access professional support quickly and confidentially. The toll- and airtime-free call is routed to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE. 

Since the Verizon Wireless national recycling program began in 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 9 million phones nationwide; awarded more than $14.2 million in cash grants to prevention and awareness programs nationwide; and donated more than 123,000 HopeLine phones with more than 406 million minutes of airtime to domestic violence victims, survivors and organizations. The program has also disposed of more than 1.7 million phones in an environmentally sound way and refurbished the remaining units.

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