California Nonprofits Received $8 Million in 2008 From the Verizon Foundation to Promote Literacy, Improve Health Care and Prevent Domestic Violence

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - More than 320 nonprofit groups in California received $8 million from the Verizon Foundation in 2008, enabling recipient organizations to enhance literacy skills, improve health care through the use of technology, and help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives.

Verizon works closely with a variety of nonprofit organizations to identify local needs and to nurture them through the philanthropic support of the Verizon Foundation. Among the grants awarded in 2008, Verizon targeted:

  • $1.9 million to domestic violence awareness and prevention programs.

  • $2.7 million to fund education and literacy achievement initiatives.

  • $576,000 to improve health care through technology.

"Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we operate by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals in the community," said Tim McCallion, president of Verizon's West region. "Through grants and the generous contributions of time and talent from our employees, we are having a positive impact on our communities."

In addition, thousands of domestic violence survivors in California benefited from Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® phone recycling program, which provided:

  • More than $312,000 in cash grants to support direct client services such as crisis hotlines, legal services, and art-therapy supplies for children.

  • Nearly $235,000 in cash grants to support community education programs, staff and volunteer training, and other services. 

  • More than 2,330 prepaid phones and 7 million minutes of free airtime.

"Giving more than $1.2 million in phones, free airtime and cash grants to domestic violence prevention agencies throughout California is just one way we work to help victims to become survivors," said Tami Erwin, Verizon Wireless West area president.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

For more information on Verizon Wireless' HopeLine program, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

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 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com/ca.