Verizon Supports 65 Western New York Organizations Promoting Literacy, Technology, Workforce Development

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to improving literacy and technology education in Western New York last year through grants for a broad range of literacy, workforce development, community technology and human service programs. Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, donated $420,000 to 65 nonprofit groups in the region during 2002.

In addition, Western New York non-profit agencies received more than $615,000 through Verizon Volunteers, a program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to organizations the employees support.

"In today's tight economy, nonprofit organizations need financial assistance now more than ever," said Maureen Rasp-Glose, Verizon community affairs director in Western New York. "Verizon's grants underscore our long-standing goal of improving the communities we serve and our commitment to providing excellent service to our customers."

Recipients of major grants included:

  • Buffalo Urban League -- $75,000 technology grant to assess and train minority candidates for the Buffalo Public Schools Joint City Schools construction project.

  • Every Person Influences Children -- $40,000 to provide parent leadership and staff training programs over a video distance-learning network around the state.

  • Literacy Volunteers of New York State-- $25,000 to launch the Students, Technology and Reading program at Literacy Volunteers of America sites in Western New York.

In addition, literacy grants were awarded to the Buffalo Alliance for Education, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Project Flight, Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo and Dunkirk, and the Erie County SPCA Literary Program.

In support of technology education, Verizon also awarded grants to Dominion Charities, United Way Corporate Caring e-Calendar, Crisis Services, Friends to the Elderly, Computers for Children and Parent/Child Connection.

Verizon recognized the importance of the state's workforce development programs by awarding additional grants to Erie 1 BOCES, Junior Achievement, Infotech Niagara and the University of Buffalo Future Scientists in Bioinformatics.

Other grant recipients included the United Way Sept. 11 Fund, Greater Buffalo Partnership Foundation, Leadership Buffalo, Neto Hatinake Onkwehowe, Juneteenth Festival, Ronald McDonald House, WNED-TV Guitar Festival, Arts Council, Amherst Meals on Wheels, National Conference of Community and Justice, Buffalo YWCA, Buffalo Niagara Foundation, AIDS Network of Western New York, Roswell Park Alliance, Buffalo Museum of Science, Burchfield Penney, Shea's Performing Arts Center, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Independent Health First Night, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Voice Buffalo, Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped, and Self Help for the Hard of Hearing.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities 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. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.