Verizon Foundation Awards Grants to Update Technology At 100 West Virginia Nonprofit Groups

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Nearly 100 nonprofit organizations in 14 West Virginia communities will be able to upgrade the technology they use to serve their communities, thanks to grants from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

Verizon asked United Way affiliates to submit proposals for grants that would fund projects harnessing new technologies that would improve the effectiveness of the agencies. The Verizon grants total nearly $110,000.

"Deployment of new technologies helped streamline corporate America, making companies far more productive than they have ever been," said Gale Given, president of Verizon West Virginia. "We want to help do the same for United Way affiliates in West Virginia."

The individual grants, which range from $240 to more than $30,000, include:

  • United Way of Central West Virginia (Charleston and surrounding area) -- $30,600 for programs, including computer training for seniors and children, and an online database for the Kanawha Hospice. Also, the grant will fund a statistical and research database for United Way's 31 member agencies. One of them, Health Right, will improve its computer network to streamline access to patient records and improve client services.

  • United Way of Harrison County -- $18,000 for software to assist with payroll and support the Criss-Cross referral service. To help women starting their own businesses, the YWCA, a United Way affiliate, will purchase software to support the development of cottage industries.

  • United Way of the River Cities (Huntington) -- $17,000 for programs for six agencies. Projects include Web-based, after-school tutoring for the Boys and Girls Club and inventory software for the Huntington Area Food Bank.

  • United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties -- $7,556 for its agencies, including software for an environmental and technological learning center at the Girl Scouts' Camp Roy Weller, voice recognition software for Morgantown Health Right and accounting software for the Bartlett House Homeless Shelter.

  • Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley (Wheeling) -- $6,000 to provide low-cost computer training for seniors.

  • Wheeling Health Right --$6,000 for an e-mail system and software to improve communications and services to patients, health care providers and donors.

  • United Way of Berkeley and Morgan Counties -- $4,800 for software and hardware for Habitat for Humanity to manage housing programs for extremely low-income families.

  • YWCA Child Development Center (Parkersburg) -- $4,700 for family computer-learning and record-keeping.

  • Logan County Community Fund -- $3,500 for software to allow the fund's agencies to exchange information online.

  • County United Way of Keyser -- $3,000 for an online service that provides low-income people with access to low-cost prescription medicine.

  • United Way of Greenbrier County -- $3,000 to enhance its community information and referral Web site.

  • United Way of Southern West Virginia -- $2,000 to improve a Web site providing services to the organization's 20 member agencies.

  • Taylor County Community Chest -- $2,000 to upgrade the computer operating systems serving the organization's eight member agencies.

  • YWCA of Wheeling -- $520 for its TechGYRLS program, a national competition for middle-school students that teaches teamwork and robotics.

  • United Way of Marion County -- $240 to help fund Internet access. (A separate grant of $1,015 was made by Verizon Foundation to provide Marion Literacy Volunteers with software to teach reading skills.)

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation,

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.