Massachusetts Nonprofits Received $4.1 Million in Verizon Foundation Grants During 2008

BOSTON - Hundreds of nonprofit groups in Massachusetts received nearly $4.1 million from the Verizon Foundation in 2008, enabling the organizations to improve literacy skills, create new and diverse approaches to technology-based education, and help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives.

Nonprofits received nearly $2 million in direct grants and an additional $2.1 million through the Verizon Volunteer and Matching Incentive programs.  Verizon volunteers and retirees also donated nearly 150,000 hours of personal time to community programs.

"The Verizon Foundation is focused on helping nonprofits meet the social needs of those living across Massachusetts," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president of New England.  "We have a long legacy of investing in programs that advance literacy and education, protect victims of domestic violence, and use technology to transform lives. 

"We also are proud of our employees who continue to volunteer their time and donate money to make the communities where they live and work a better place.  Together, we are making a difference," she said.

Major grant programs funded in 2008 include:

  • English as a Second Language Technology Awards - English For New Bostonians; Holyoke Community College; Quincy Community Action; Operation Bootstrap, Lynn; The Immigrant Learning Center, Malden;  University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth, New Bedford; World Education, Boston; and Worcester Public Library.

  • Domestic Violence Technology Solutions - Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Boston; Casa Myrna Vasquez, Boston; Brockton Neighborhood Health Center; Jane Doe Inc.; Help for Abused Women and Their Children, Lynn ; The Katie Brown Educational Program, Fall River; Portal to Hope, Medford; RESPOND, Somerville; Women shelter/Campaneros, Holyoke; YWCA of Central Massachusetts, Worcester.

  • Assistive Technology Grants to better serve people with disabilities - Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton; Children's Hospital/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, Waltham; Easter Seals Massachusetts, Boston and Worcester; National Braille Press, Boston; and The Learning Center for Deaf Children, Framingham.

  • Thinkfinity.org - The Massachusetts Department of Education and Lesley University received a second year of funding to train more teachers to use the Verizon Foundation's online, curriculum resource tool, Thinkfinity.org

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.

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.