Bell Atlantic Employees Lend 'Helping Hands' In Philadelphia

Bell Atlantic Employees Lend 'Helping Hands'
In Philadelphia

Volunteers Teach Community Residents
How to Use Computers, Access the Internet

December 7, 1999


Sharon Shaffer,

PHILADELPHIA -- If you've had trouble finding the ramp to the
Information superhighway, some Bell Atlantic employees in Philadelphia
are offering a helping hand to get you there.

Twelve employees are teaching children and adults at the Northwest
Regional Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia to use computers,
become familiar with software programs and access the World Wide Web.
All are volunteers who give their time each week through a program called
Project Helping Hands.

"As we approach the 21st-century, we all must become more
computer literate to work, play and live in the fast-changing world of
technology," said Mary Bell, a Bell Atlantic software engineer who
coordinates Project Helping Hands in Philadelphia.

"We're happy to provide such a valuable service to our
community," Bell said. "Many families don't have personal
computers at home. Our team works in the library's computer center to
familiarize people with computers and the Internet."

Since Project Helping Hands began in January 1999, employees have
volunteered more than 580 hours and served over 1,500 library patrons.
Earlier this year, Helping Hands volunteers won Bell Atlantic's
"Leaders in Excellence" award, the company's highest honor
for community service.

"Our volunteers are very patient and committed to helping anyone
interested in becoming familiar with computer technology," Bell
said. "We've had great experiences and learned so much while
teaching others. We get back so much more than we give in a program
like this."

Many volunteers are members of a Bell Atlantic employee group called
the Telecommunication Excellence for Associates and Managers of
Pennsylvania & Delaware. The group is a local chapter of the
Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Executives (CITE).
CITE strives to increase the individual and collective effectiveness of
African -American and other minority employees, and to contribute to
Bell Atlantic and the broader communities it serves.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.