Verizon Supports The Solace Tree’s “Virtual Solace” Campaign

Contact: Jackie Shelton | 775.772.6543



Reno, NV (November 1, 2012) – Verizon Wireless has awarded the Solace Tree a Verizon Foundation Grant Award of $5,000 to be used to help launch “Virtual Solace,” a web-based program that will allow the Solace Tree to offer grief support group services to remote or underserved communities. “We’re doing good work on a local level, and this program will allow us to leverage our proven model beyond the Reno-Sparks area,” said David Wertzberger, Solace Tree Board Chair. “We get requests for help from all over the country, but it’s not feasible for us to set up a Solace Tree in all these places just yet. With Virtual Solace, we can still help these people.”

In the spring, the Solace Tree received a grant of $35,000 from the Chicago-based William C. McGowan Charitable Fund, which has a vision to “impact lives today, create sustainable change, and empower future generations to achieve their greatest potential.” The grant, which is subject to the Solace Tree matching it with $31,200, was the impetus for launching “Virtual Solace.” “Unresolved grief and community depression can lead to delinquency and crime. Our work alleviates that for communities like Douglas County, Fallon, Fernley, Elko, Austin, and Newburgh, NY, pretty much anywhere there’s an Internet connection,” says Emilio Parga, Executive Director. ”And, there is not currently grief support available for children and teens in much of Nevada and in many areas of the country.”

Money raised will go toward staff and technology necessary to implement the program, including:

  • Go-To-Meeting software
  • Adequate bandwidth
  • Internet media specialist
  • Directional cameras for groups

About the Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, health care and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit

About The Solace Tree

The Solace Tree, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit based in Reno, NV, with a mission is to provide peer support, information and education to schools and the community to promote healing and recovery for grieving children, teens and their families who are affected by loss. For more information on making a donation, please visit or call 775.324-7723.