Massachusetts Nonprofit Groups Received $3.8 Million in 2006 From Verizon Foundation to Support Literacy, Education, Domestic Violence Initiatives

BOSTON - Verizon's commitment to Massachusetts proved strong in 2006 through grants for a broad range of programs to improve literacy and education, combat domestic violence and improve health care through the use of technology.

In 2006, the Verizon Foundation - the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications - provided over $1.8 million in grants to 170 nonprofit groups in Massachusetts, and more than 260 other organizations received a total of $2 million through the foundation's Verizon Volunteers program, which rewards employees with matching gifts and grants to nonprofits that employees donate to and support.  Last year, Verizon employees volunteered more than 33,000 hours to nonprofit groups across the Commonwealth.

"Verizon has a long-standing record of working to improve the communities in which we operate by serving our customers well and supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in those communities," said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "By supporting these worthy organizations and the volunteer spirit of our employees, we are making a difference in the lives of people across Massachusetts."

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in 2006 were:

  • Casa Myrna Vazquez Inc. -- $25,000 to fund S.T.A.R. (Safety, Trust and Relationships), a peer-led teen dating violence-prevention program.

  • The Massachusetts Institute For A New Commonwealth -- $50,000 to help fund New Skills for a New Economy Awareness & Action Campaign created to provide workers the skills necessary to be productive contributors to the economic vitality of Massachusetts by promoting workforce development policies, programs and practices helping to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century economy.

  • Jane Doe Inc. -- $25,000 to work with the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence bringing together organizations and people committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. 

  • NAACP -- $40,000 to help raise awareness of the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

  • News In Education Foundation -- $20,000 for its Spring Serial Story Program providing 12,000 students in 480 classrooms the opportunity to participate in helping build literacy and critical thinking skills, allow some reluctant readers to take pride in their ability to complete a book, and encourage reading at home as a family.

  • Boston Local Development Corporation -- $30,000 to support ReadBoston Storymobile and Reading Is Fundamental program providing Boston children with free books, entertaining storytelling events and an increased focus on literacy.

  • The Boston Private Industry Council -- $50,000 which helped to support jobs for 12 juniors and seniors during the summer and providing these students with daily MCAS preparation and focus on building vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension and writing skills.

  • Boston Adult Literacy Fund -- $25,000 helping more than 23,000 adults attain their educational goals, award 195 scholarships to adults seeking more education and provide more than 20,000 hours of free technical assistance.

Verizon works closely with a variety of advisory groups and nonprofit organizations to identify local needs and to develop and nurture programs that address those needs through the philanthropic support of the Verizon Foundation.

The Verizon Foundation 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.