Verizon Foundation To Help State's United Way Agencies Update Their Technology

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Verizon Foundation and United Way are teaming up to help United Way member agencies across West Virginia enhance their community service through technology. In 2002, all donations from Verizon Foundation to United Way in the state will be awarded through a formal request-for-proposal program. The program is designed to benefit local United Way's member agencies in need of new or improved technology-based resources or programs. Resources can include computer hardware, software, peripherals and Internet access.

"We have a long history of support for United Way," said Gale Given, president of Verizon West Virginia. . "We're excited that this year's partnership will help bring new technologies to more United Way member agencies.

"West Virginia's United Way organizations and their member agencies do an outstanding job of assisting those in need throughout the state. The use of technology will enable them to do an even better job," she added.

Verizon Foundation intends to disburse $125,000 through this year's program, roughly the same amount that was awarded to United Way in West Virginia last year. In the past, Verizon Foundation allocated contributions to United Way in West Virginia based in part on the number of Verizon employees living in the area served by the local United Way. Under this year's program, grants will be allocated for technology-based requests on a competitive basis. Local United Way offices will apply online for those grants on behalf of their member agencies.

Verizon Foundation is also offering challenge funding to encourage others in the community to follow Verizon's lead in supporting the use of new technologies by United Way member agencies. For grant requests of more than $4,000, Verizon Foundation will double those dollars raised via challenge funding from others in the community.

For example, if a United Way requests $4,500 from Verizon Foundation on behalf of its member agencies, that United Way must raise $250 in challenge funding to obtain the additional $500 from the Foundation.

United Way offices must submit their 2002 grant requests to Verizon Foundation by June 7. Proposals must be submitted online at www.verizon.com/foundation. No paper proposals will be accepted. Grants will be announced in August.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is committed to helping Verizon employees, customers and the communities in which they work and live make progress every day. The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.