Verizon Supports 70 Local New York Groups to Promote Literacy, Technology and Workforce Development

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to improving literacy and technology education in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties and Fairfield County, Conn., last year through grants to a broad range of range of nonprofit organizations.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, and Verizon employees donated $1,450,000 to support programs in the four counties during 2002.

"In today's economy, well funded nonprofit organizations mean stronger communities," said Verizon Region President James Joedecke. "Verizon is committed to help the communities it serves make progress every day."

    Recipients of major grants included:

  • Family Service Society of Yonkers -- $ 75,000 to open the " Kinship Technology Center," an innovative approach to bridging the digital divide which exists between grandparents caring for grandchildren, economic resources and schools by providing access to computers and computer training.

  • Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. -- $25,000 to provide workforce development skills to disadvantaged Westchester and Putnam residents.

  • Hospice / Visiting Nurse Association of Westchester -- $ 25,000 to purchase laptop computers for nurses, enabling them to record data that impacts patient care.

  • CTE, Inc -- $25,000 to provide computer skills training to low-income Greenwich, Conn. residents at facilities provided by the Greenwich Social Services Department.

  • Greyston Foundation, Inc. -- $ 15,000 to assist high school students to learn, create and maintain a socially conscious business in Yonkers.

  • Westchester Holocaust Commission -- $6,000 for Web site development to increase educational outreach efforts.

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern Westchester -- $5,000 to implement

SKILLTECH, a computer skills training program for youth.

In addition, literacy grants were awarded to Literacy Volunteers of Rockland County Inc.; Jewish Council of Yonkers, Inc.; Westchester Arts Council, Inc.; African American Men of Westchester; The Lighthouse International, and The Carver Center, Inc.

In support of technology education, Verizon also awarded grants to the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont - Mamaroneck, Inc., and the Westchester Arts Council, Inc.

Verizon recognized the importance of the state's workforce development programs by awarding a $50,000 grant to The Guidance Center in New Rochelle, New York to help people with disabilities develop workforce skills.

Other grant recipients included The Street Theater, Inc., St. Christopher's, United Way September 11th Fund, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Family Information and Referral Service Teams, Inc., and Hope for Youth Foundation, Inc.

Last year, Verizon employees volunteered more than 13,740 hours to nonprofit agencies in the four counties. These agencies also received more than $605,000 in contributions from employees and the foundation. Through a program called Verizon Volunteers, the foundation encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to the nonprofit organizations that employees support.

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

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.