Verizon Foundation Announces $100,000 in Grants to Assist Relief Efforts in Haiti

The Verizon Foundation has awarded an additional $100,000 in grants to Food For The Poor and World Vision to assist ongoing relief efforts in Haiti in response to a cholera outbreak and in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas and the 7.0 earthquake that hit the island earlier this year.

The foundation will award a $50,000 grant to each of the nonprofit organizations to support efforts to provide clean water and improved living conditions for thousands of families at risk.

Food For The Poor has supplied 30 solar-powered water filtration systems, each of which can provide 10,000 gallons of clean water per day. The Verizon grant will fund the purchase of two additional systems and other necessities such as food and medical supplies.

"This gift from Verizon will provide 20,000 gallons of fresh water each day to the people in Haiti," said Robin Mahfood, president/CEO of Food For The Poor. "In addition, we will be able to use part of the gift to meet immediate humanitarian relief needs for families struggling with the aftermath of the storm, as well as those sick from cholera. Haiti is in an even more perilous situation now, and we are grateful for companies such as Verizon who are willing to reach out a hand."

World Vision is promoting personal hygiene practices in relief camps and training its staff to identify and treat the symptoms of cholera.  The organization is also partnering to distribute 720,000 water purification packets to families in areas where there have been newly reported cholera cases.  Each packet can purify 10 liters of safe drinking water, enough for one family for one day.  

"Verizon and its employees offered generous support for World Vision's work in quake-stricken Haiti," said Keith Kall, executive director of corporate development for World Vision. "We are so grateful to Verizon for standing with the people of Haiti as they experience an   emergency within an emergency during the cholera outbreak and aftermath of Hurricane Tomas. It is thanks to committed partners like Verizon that we're able to continue responding to the urgent needs in Haiti as we approach the one-year anniversary of the quake."

Overall, the Verizon Foundation and Verizon employees have contributed more than $1.3 million to support relief efforts.  Of that amount, more than $1 million has been raised through the Verizon employee disaster-relief matching-gift program.  Under the program, the Verizon Foundation matched employee donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per employee, in the weeks after the earthquake struck the island.

In addition, Verizon Wireless customers contributed more than $10 million to relief efforts through a text-to-donate campaign to support the American Red Cross.

World Vision is dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Food For The Poor raises funds and provides direct relief and development assistance - including housing, clean water, education and micro-enterprise development such as aquaculture - to the poor throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 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 $26.1 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 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 93 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 195,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.