Michigan Nonprofits Received More Than $440,000 in 2008 From the Verizon Foundation to Support Education, Literacy and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiatives

MUSKEGON, Mich. - More than 240 nonprofit groups in Michigan received more than $440,000 from the Verizon Foundation in 2008, enabling recipient organizations to improve literacy skills, enhance educational opportunities for children, and help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives.

In addition, Verizon employees volunteered more than 6,600 hours to nonprofit groups throughout the state in 2008.

"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," said Carl Erhart, president of Verizon's South-West region.  "Through grants and the generous contributions of time and talent from our employees, we are having a positive impact on our communities."

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in 2008 are:

  • Michigan Dept. of Education - $60,000 to raise awareness and train teachers throughout the state on the use of Thinkfinity.org, Verizon's free educational resource Web site.

  • Haven Inc. - $20,000 to provide support for the organization's domestic violence prevention program in Detroit.

  • WGVU-TV (PBS)/Grand Valley State University - $20,000 to support the Ready to Learn literacy program.

  • SME Foundation/Gateway Academy - $13,000 to fund a summer program for future engineering students. 

  • Muskegon County United Way - $10,000 to support the Light on After School program in inner-city Muskegon and Muskegon Heights.

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.