Verizon Foundation Awards More Than $200,000 in Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits to Address Internet Safety

Eleven nonprofit organizations across the state have received grants totaling $202,300 from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, to raise awareness of Internet safety and to offer educational outreach services to students, parents and educators.

"Verizon's business is centered on technology, so we believe it is our responsibility to proactively help people understand how to use the Internet safely and effectively," said Gale Y. Given,  president of Verizon Pennsylvania.

Grants have been awarded to the following nonprofit organizations:

  • Bar Association of Lehigh County, Allentown - $20,000.

  • Berks Economic Partnership, Reading - $20,000.

  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh - $20,000.

  • The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County Inc., West Chester - $20,000.

  • Harrisburg Public School Foundation, Harrisburg - $22,500.

  • Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh - $15,000.

  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Enola - $24,800.

  • Susquehanna Valley Women in Transition, Lewisburg - $15,000.

  • The Wayne County Community Foundation, Honesdale - $20,000.

  • West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, Philadelphia - $15,000.

  • WLVT-TV PBS 39, Bethlehem - $10,000.

"Our children are growing up in a digital world where they communicate, learn and share ideas," said Given.  "Online technology has a tremendous impact on our society, and its role will continue to grow with further advances.  Verizon is proud to partner with these local organizations to help individuals safely enjoy the full benefits that the broadband experience delivers."

The Verizon Foundation invests in programs and organizations that help law enforcement officers investigate Internet-related crimes against children and to educate parents and caregivers about measures they can take to help children understand the concept of digital literacy to get the most enjoyment from their online experiences.

"Verizon helps children and teens protect themselves and their identities through the online safety resources offered through the Verizon Thinkfinity program," said Given.  "With these resources, teachers and parents will be armed with information on how students can stay safe while using the Internet and developing online profiles, as well as how to evaluate Internet content for quality and safety."

Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org) contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun.  In addition to providing resources from the nation's leading educational organizations, Verizon Thinkfinity also offers a comprehensive professional-development program. 

The Verizon Foundation 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 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 89 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 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.