Verizon Supports Illinois Nonprofit Groups to Promote Literacy and Health, and to Combat Domestic Violence

BLOOMINGTON, IL -- Verizon reaffirmed its commitment this year to improving literacy and health, and to combating domestic violence in Illinois through grants for a broad range of programs.  The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, donated over $250,000 to 29 nonprofit groups in the state during 2006.

"Verizon has a long-standing record of working to improve the communities we serve by providing excellent service to our customers and supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in those communities," said Philip J. Wood Jr., Verizon vice president-public affairs, policy and communications in Bloomington.  "Our 2006 philanthropic efforts will help dozens of organizations do just that."

Verizon awarded major grants to the following organizations:

  • Southern Illinois Health Services -- $42,950 to support an innovative effort to increase access to care for southern Illinoisans.

  • Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) -- $30,000 to support and lend aid to awareness and prevention of domestic violence through resources provided by CAEPV through its Web site. 

  • BroMenn Healthcare System -- $50,000 to support the expansion of the Family Practice Residency programs and, in so doing, increase the availability of affordable health care to underserved area residents.

  • First Book of McLean County -- More than $20,000 in grants to support First Book's literacy programs.

  • Southern Illinois Coal Belt Champion Community, Inc. -- $10,000 to support an economic development initiative that promotes and encourages local entrepreneurship and expanded use of broadband technology in rural areas of Southern Illinois.

  • WIU Foundation -- $18,000 to support the development of an effective Web presence to help local businesses in rural areas.

Verizon also awarded grants to The Baby Fold; Hutsonville Community School District; the University of Illinois; the Jacksonville Public School Foundation; the Journal Star Newspapers in Education programs; Heartland Community College Foundation; Marissa Junior/Senior High School Life Skills programs; Paris Carnegie Public Library; Women for Health and Wellness, Inc.; Jacksonville Journal Courier Newspapers in Education programs; Freedom House in Princeton; Kiwanis Club Foundation; DeKalb County Community Foundation; the Quincy Herald Whig; Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation; United Way of McLean County; American Red Cross; Pantagraph Publishing - Newspapers in Education programs;  OSF and Sandwich Community High School. 

In addition to these grants, 283 other Illinois nonprofit organizations received a total of more than   $447,000 through Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching grants to the nonprofit organizations in which employees participate.  Illinois employees gave over $200,000 to the organizations that they support, and their gifts were matched with over $247,000 from the Verizon Foundation.

Verizon delivers technology that touches life. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and its financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; help families victimized by domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, which is one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States and responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.