Nonprofits in West Virginia Received Nearly $450,000 in 2008 From the Verizon Foundation

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - More than 400 nonprofit groups in West Virginia received nearly $450,000 from the Verizon Foundation in 2008.  The grants have enabled the recipient organizations to improve basic literacy skills; create new and diverse approaches to technology-based learning, including Internet safety programs; and help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives.

In addition, through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees volunteered more than 19,000 hours to support nonprofit groups in 2008. 

"Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we live and work by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals," said B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.  "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 that Verizon awarded in 2008, and the recipients, are:

  • West Virginia Department of Education - $73,000 to provide training to West Virginia teachers statewide on free educational resources available on Verizon's Thinkfinity.org Web site.

  • Charleston YWCA - $20,000 to support the Safe Dates program, which teaches teenagers about unhealthy relationships that can trigger domestic violence situations. (In addition, $20,000 was given to Branches of Huntington and $10,000 to the Women's Resource Center of Beckley for similar programs.)

  • Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation - $25,000 to support the Lead-A-Lot Literacy Project, which teaches youth character-building, work-ethic, leadership and good-citizenship skills.

  • West Virginia Humanities Council - $15,000 to enable local communities to host John Henry traveling exhibits at local museums and other venues.

  • West Virginia University - $10,000 for a program that provides scholarships to 110 4-H members to attend the Wild and Wonderful Camp at Jackson's Mill and focus on technology and techniques to teach seniors basic computing skills.

  • West Virginia State University - $9,000 to support its Charleston-based literacy program, Be a Leader, Be a Reader, mainly targeting children in public housing.

  • L.E.A.D.S. (Learning Advances and Enhances Doddridge) - $7,000 for a family literary program for inmates at Pruntytown Correctional Center that motivates incarcerated parents and gives them support for reading and communicating with their children.

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.