Verizon Foundation Offers $100,000 in Grants to West Virginia Nonprofit Groups

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Nonprofit organizations serving communities in Verizon West Virginia's service areas are invited to compete for $100,000 in grants offered by the Verizon Foundation.

The foundation, Verizon Communications' philanthropic arm, is seeking grant proposals focused on computer literacy programs targeted to underserved communities in West Virginia. Grants will range from $2,500 to $10,000 and cover a one-year period - starting Dec. 1, 2005.

"At Verizon, we've seen how technology can be an agent of empowerment for the underserved segments in our communities," said H. Stan Cavendish, president of Verizon West Virginia. "Verizon encourages eligible nonprofit groups to take advantage of this opportunity and submit proposals that show how technology can be used in innovative ways to meet the computer literacy needs of the communities the nonprofits serve."

Specifically, the proposals should focus on basic computer literacy programs that help low-income students and adults enhance their reading abilities and develop computer skills, and provide assistance to rural West Virginians seeking to get online access.

Applicants must submit proposals through the Verizon Foundation Web site, www.verizon.com/foundation, by Oct. 31. Applicants should enter the invitation code 92FJ2J2RT9 on the login page. Verizon plans to announce final grants by Nov. 28.

To qualify for funding, applicants must be public or private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with a valid Internal Revenue Service tax ID and provide services to communities in Verizon West Virginia's service area, which covers 86 percent of the state, including Beckley, Charleston, Clarksburg, Huntington, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Weirton.

In 2004, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than 26,000 grants totaling over $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving literacy, computer and technology skills, and identifying domestic violence solutions. 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 528,000 hours in their communities and provided $37.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.