Dec 17, 2019

Twilio grants $3 million to crisis responders

An advertisement at the San Fran airport of Twilio

Twilio is a cloud communications platform based in San Francisco. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Communication tech firm Twilio is announcing $3 million in new grants later on Tuesday, aimed at helping more than two dozen crisis services speed up their response time.

Why it matters: A prior round of funding in August focused on larger nonprofits, while these grants reach a number of lesser-known groups providing vital work to those in need. Twilio.org, the company's philanthropic arm, aims to help 1 billion people annually within 10 years.

Details: The new grants are going to organizations that help those dealing with everything from domestic violence and sexual assault to natural disasters and suicidal feelings.

  • "These are the instances where communications can mean the difference between hope and despair, or even at times between life and death," Twilio's chief social impact officer Erin Reilly said in an interview.

What they're saying: Trans Lifeline, which is receiving its largest-ever grant of $153,000 from Twilio, said that is enough to launch an urgently needed Spanish-language hotline to serve the U.S. and Canada by the end of June. As a result it expects to handle 44% more calls.

  • Development Director Bri Barnett told Axios some of the most urgent calls the group has received in the past year have come from Latinx people, including those in ICE custody in the southwest U.S.

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