Bell Atlantic Employees Lend 'Helping Hands' in Randallstown and Woodlawn

Bell Atlantic Employees Lend 'Helping Hands'
in Randallstown and Woodlawn

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

October 19, 1999


Sandra Arnette,

BALTIMORE -- If you've had trouble finding the ramp onto the
Information Superhighway, Bell Atlantic employees in Maryland are
offering a helping hand to get you there.

Some 30 company employees are teaching children and adults at the
Randallstown and Woodlawn libraries 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.

"I didn't have any idea that the program would get such an
enthusiastic response," said Albert Grant, a Bell Atlantic specialist
in Network Planning who coordinates Project Helping Hands. "So
many families don't have personal computers in their homes, and
unfortunately, library budgets don't allow for extra staff for computer
centers. So we really feel we're providing a valuable service to the
community. And, of course, we're always looking for more

Due to the success of the program in Randallstown and Woodlawn, plans
are now underway to expand Project Helping Hands to the Enoch Pratt
Library system in Baltimore.

"Our volunteers are very patient and committed to helping the young
and old become familiar with computer technology," Grant said.
"We've had great experiences and learned so much in the process of
teaching others. We get back so much more than we give in a program
like this."

Since Project Helping Hands began in December 1997, employees have
volunteered more than 1,600 hours and served over 30,000 library patrons.
Earlier this year, volunteers won Bell Atlantic's "Leaders in
Excellence" award, the company's highest honor for community

Many volunteers are members of the Association of Telecommunications
Managers and Associates of Maryland (ATMA-MD). Project Helping
Hands supports the efforts of ATMA-MD, a Bell Atlantic employee group
and 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 add value to Bell Atlantic and the broader
community. The organization supports educational programs, has a strong
focus toward outside scholarship funding, and is involved in various
community activities.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 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.