Verizon phones in aid to campaign
By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
Verizon Wireless's plans include more than cellular service as the HopeLine Program now supports a larger network.
Jana's Campaign announced Tuesday it received a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Wireless HopeLine Program to support its "Love Doesn't Hurt" teen dating violence prevention program.
One in three adolescents will be the victim of domestic or sexual abuse, and Jana's Campaign is attempting to change the cycle with education.
Jana's Campaign was created in honor of Jana Mackey, daughter of Curt and Christie Brungardt, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in Lawrence.
"As a company, we have our HopeLine that is dedicated to domestic violence prevention and services," said James Estes, district manager. "(Verizon) was really looking for an organization like (Jana's Campaign) that is committed to talking about and preventing domestic violence."
The HopeLine Program has given away $21 million in cash grants and has donated 180,000 phones containing millions of minutes to domestic violence agencies.
"Programs like this are going to have the biggest impact in reducing domestic violence in our country," said Curt Brungardt, president of Jana's Campaign. "Verizon has an international reputation of stepping up to the plate and providing resources."
HopeLine is a non-profit organization and supports many domestic violence agencies in Kansas and Missouri.
"This cause is very personal to me," Estes said. "My wife is employed by a domestic violence agency. She's had some issues with being raised in a domestic violence home. Whenever I have the time to go out and present a check like this, it's near and dear to my heart."
"Love Doesn't Hurt" aims to reach students in grades six through 12 and teach violence education and prevention.
"We're using Jana's legacy to hopefully reduce domestic violence," Curt Brungardt said. "We believe in education in (violence) prevention. The best way to prevent domestic violence is to stop it before it starts."
"Love Doesn't Hurt" is helping six area schools.
"We hope, with this funding, we are able to go into much more rural areas," said Christie Brungardt, Jana's Campaign treasurer. "We were going to do the program regardless, but (these funds) will help scale it up."
All funds raised during the course of this year will go toward the program.
"For us, I'm glad we get to go out and support the communities we live and work in," Estes said.
"It's not just corporate America giving money here and there. We have employees who are friends of folks out here and are impacted by Jana's Campaign. To me, that makes it even more special when we get to present money to people we know and have relationships with. I'm super excited to support an agency like this and help the folks in our communities."