Dove Center’s mission to address domestic violence gets boost from Findlay Hyundai campaign, Verizon grant

Stock image | Photo courtesy of Discha via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In an effort to support the Dove Center, an organization that addresses one of the most pervasive threats in Utah, Findlay Hyundai St. George recently launched a three-month campaign to help further the center’s work.

In the United States, more than 15 million children witness violence in their home every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and one in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner. In these homes, besides just being a witness, children are 15 times more likely to be abused themselves, and more than 2,000 children die each year from that abuse.

Taking on the issues of both support and prevention, the St. George-based nonprofit Dove Center provides emergency shelter, victim advocacy and counseling services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault using funding provided by grants, donations and sponsorships.

This year, some of this assistance will be coming from Findlay Hyundai St. George, located at 1405 S. Sunland Drive. From July 1 through Sept. 30, for every new or used car sold at the dealership, a donation will be made to benefit the Dove Center.

Findlay trailer that is hauled to more than 40 events every month and provides music, wireless service and other amenities free to the public, St. George, Utah, July 18, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Dave Gourley, the dealership’s general manager, told St. George News that giving back to the community is part of the Findlay philosophy – and has been for decades.

“The community gives to us, and it has to be a mutual thing,” Gourley said. “So by giving back locally, we are helping those in need right here.”

Findlay has integrated philanthropy into its business model, which has been very successful, both professionally and on a personal level, Gourley said. This is demonstrated by the Findlay trailer that can be seen at more than 40 events across Washington County every month, providing music, wireless service and other amenities free to the public.

So when it came to supporting an organization that provides shelter and resources to women and children exposed to domestic violence, the decision to name the Dove Center as the 3-month campaign’s recipient was simple, Gourley said.

“These women – these families – need help, and the Dove Center helps them,” he said. “That’s so important.”

Tammie Richeson, who serves on the Dove Center’s Board of Directors, agreed and said that Findlay’s strong community values is one of the reasons she approached the company in the first place.

The fifth annual Dove Center Gala that raises funds for the organization, SunRiver Ballroom, St. George, Utah, March 24, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Richeson was instrumental in making the campaign a reality, Gourley said, and while the details were worked out on Findlay’s end, it was “Tammie who got it rolling.”

Community support is the lifeblood of Dove Center, Richeson said.

“We couldn’t do any of this without our community, and Findlay is so good to us,” she said. “They always give generously at our gala and have supported the Dove Center in so many ways.”

Richeson said Dove Center will use the funds to continue providing shelter and services to survivors of domestic violence, including meals, education, family counseling, safety and tools that will help them to rebuild their lives.

Verizon “Hopeline” grant

At the beginning of July, the Dove Center was also presented with the Verizon Foundation’s “Hopeline” grant, which is awarded to local nonprofit organizations committed to providing domestic violence awareness.

“Verizon shows continued commitment to helping survivors of domestic abuse with the ‘HopeLine’ grant and we are so thankful,” Lindsey Boyer, executive director of Dove Center, said in a statement released earlier this month.

The Verizon Foundation collects wireless phones and accessories no longer in use, refurbishes them and sells them, with proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence. Since 2001, the Verizon Foundation has collected more than 7 million phones, generating $8 million. In the last four years, between the phone collection and other programs, Verizon has awarded more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations that assist domestic violence survivors.

Verizon Foundation presents HopeLine” grant to Dove Center to support the organization’s efforts in helping victims of domestic violence, St. George, Utah, July 9, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Verizon Foundation, St. George News

Dove Center intends to use the funds from the grant to further its digital communications development, with a focus on education. The organization will use social media and newsletter content to highlight topics such as identifying signs of abuse, knowing basic rights, prioritizing safety and knowing where to find local resources.

The grant will also help the organization continue its prevention and awareness education. So far, Dove Center has provided prevention education to over 1,500 middle- and high-school students in the Washington County School District, as well as similar presentations in Iron and Kane counties. The interactive presentations touch on topics like respect, consent and sticking up for peers and provides information to students on how to report abuse.

The #Hope feature allows any Verizon Wireless customer to connect to the National Domestic Violence Hotline simply by dialing #Hope on their mobile phone.

To learn more about DOVE’s awareness and prevention programs, email [email protected] or call 435-628-1204. To make a donation, visit the Dove Center website.

For emergency shelter and other questions about domestic violence or sexual assault, call Dove Center’s 24-hour helpline at 435-628-0458

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.



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