RICHMOND, Va. - A dollar a month may not seem like much, but it can go a long way to improving literacy skills in Virginia and giving people the opportunity to succeed.
Thanks to Verizon telephone customers in Virginia who participated in Verizon's innovative Check Into Literacy Program, more than $60,000 was collected. That total, plus additional support from the Virginia Literacy Foundation, helped provide $200,000 in grants to 34 nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth to support literacy programs.
Contributions from Virginia residents are part of the more than $1.28 million given to literacy organizations in 26 states and Washington, D.C. The program allows Verizon landline telephone customers to support literacy by checking a box on their monthly phone bills to make a $1 tax-deductible donation to promote literacy. Verizon then distributes these donations to local literacy organizations that serve the individual states the customers live in.
"The ability to read, write and communicate is fundamental for success," said Robert Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia. "Working together with our customers through Check Into Literacy, we can change the lives of our neighbors. By increasing their literacy skills, we're giving people the tools to help them find and keep decent jobs, support their children's education and contribute actively in our communities."
Mark Emblidge, executive director of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, said, "One million adult Virginians do not have the literacy skills needed to be successful in today's world. Verizon is one of the leading corporations in Virginia and in the U.S. who have reached out to these adults to help give them a second chance at a bright future."
Some of the organizations that received grants through the Check Into Literacy Program include the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Literacy Volunteers of the Roanoke Valley, the Richmond Read Center, the Loudoun Literacy Council, the Tidewater Literacy Council and the Lynchburg Literacy Council.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery. In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 59 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.