Nearly 150 Virginia Nonprofits Received More Than $1.7 Million in Verizon Foundation Grants in 2007

RICHMOND, Va. - The National Association of Women Business Owners, the Urban League of Greater Richmond, the Center for Rural Virginia, and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance were among 149 nonprofit groups in Virginia that received more than $1.7 million from the Verizon Foundation in 2007.

In addition, Verizon employees and retirees in Virginia donated more than 33,000 hours and raised more than $1.6 million last year for nonprofits under the foundation's Verizon Volunteers program. 

The grants have enabled the recipient organizations to improve basic literacy skills, create new and diverse approaches to technology-based learning, and help domestic violence victims rebuild their lives.

"Our efforts are rooted in a century-old tradition of giving back to the communities we serve, guided by the firm belief that technology can have a profound and positive effect on social issues," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.  "Our foundation makes a positive difference by supporting and investing in the people and organizations striving to improve the quality of life in our communities - where our customers and employees live and work."

"That difference can be made in the progress of our children as they study to meet the challenge of learning and working in the 21st century; in the lives of millions of Americans with low literacy skills who are unable to complete a job application or even read a menu; and in the lives of men and women who live in abusive and deadly situations and for whom a phone can open a line to hope," said Woltz.

Some of the other Virginia nonprofits that received Verizon Foundation grants during 2007 included:   

  • University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville - $63,500 to establish new telemedicine programs at three rural health clinics in western Virginia.

  • Virginia Economic Bridge, Radford - $9,200 to fund a series of educational seminars for parents and educators to combat Internet crimes against children.

  • Hanover County Public Schools, Ashland - $20,000 to sponsor the Reading Olympics, a competition-based program for fourth- through eighth-grade student teams that introduces them to a diverse range of literature, promotes literacy and enhances reading comprehension.

  • East District Family Resource Center, Richmond - $7,500 to establish a Youth Technology Project to teach and promote technology skills to at-risk high-school seniors, helping train them for post-secondary plans for school, the job market and other opportunities.

  • Best Buddies Virginia, McLean - $9,500 to support the Verizon Road to Richmond, in which youths are paired with buddies to learn about state government and the overall importance of education.

  • Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Falls Church - $10,000 to sponsor Reading: A Family Affair, which promotes family literacy and enhances reading skills.  Verizon received the organization's Community Service Award for 2007.

  • Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter, Norfolk - $20,000 to support a hospital  program that trains physicians, teachers and child-care workers on ways to help children who have been abused.

  • Communities Promoting a Safer Society (COMPASS), Virginia Beach - $6,000 to support community outreach programs and workshops to prevent or treat family violence, and to increase family awareness of family violence issues.

  • Literacy Volunteers of Prince William County, Woodbridge - $7,000 to support programs that encourage and enhance literacy for adults and that help them achieve literacy goals.

  • ARC of the Rappahannock, Fredericksburg - $5,000 to support the organization's Mobile Assisted Technology Project, which enables children with mentally related communication disabilities to interact - not just react - and to develop their full potential and self-sufficiency.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. 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 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 nearly 66 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 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.