IRVING, Texas - In response to the overwhelming need for aid in storm-ravaged Central America, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the GTE Foundation announced today it is donating an additional $75,000 to assist relief efforts in those areas hardest hit by hurricanes Mitch and Georges.
GTE is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in Central America and $50,000 to United Way International for rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The latest contributions are in addition to $125,000 GTE donated to the American Red Cross in September to assist with cleanup from Hurricane Georges.
"It is impossible to comprehend the magnitude of disaster that these nations face," said Michael T. Masin, vice chairman and president-International. "Through this donation, we hope to make a small difference in the life of someone who might otherwise be left without hope."
Hurricane Georges plowed through Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in September, leaving hundreds dead and thousands more homeless. In October, Hurricane Mitch, the deadliest storm in more than two centuries, laid waste to Honduras and Nicaragua, leaving tens of thousands dead and more than a million people homeless.
"The devastation is just tremendous," Masin said. "Regardless of whether GTE has operations in the affected areas, we are trying to help as much as we can. It is truly a humanitarian need."
GTE owns and operates CODETEL, the Dominican Republic's largest telecommunications company, and is in the process of acquiring a controlling stake in the Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC). GTE does not have operations in Central America.
Ranking among the country's top corporate foundations in annual contributions, the GTE Foundation in 1998 will provide more than $27 million in financial support to educational and charitable organizations in the United States and its possessions on behalf of GTE and its subsidiaries.
With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services.
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