Verizon Supports Over 150 Michigan Nonprofit Groups to Promote Literacy, Technology and Work Force Development

MUSKEGON, Mich. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to improving literacy and technology education this year through grants for a broad range of literacy, work force development, community technology and human services programs. Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, donated $292,048 in direct grants to 49 nonprofit groups in the state during 2003 and $115,835 to 121organizations through the Verizon Volunteer programs.

"In today's tight economy, nonprofit organizations need financial assistance now more than ever," said Paul Fuglie, Verizon's vice president of public policy and external affairs for Michigan. "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:

  • WGVU-TV - $26,500 to support of Read to Learn, a young- readers program, and Connections for Children, Gov. Granholm's early childhood town-meeting program.

  • FAMILY SERVICES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER - $10,000 to support Dads Only, which provides intervention counseling, literacy training and job placement services for male parents at risk.

  • MCAKINAC STATE HISTORIC PARKS - $6,330 to support Virtual Mackinac, a new Web site for classroom use in teaching Michigan history.

In addition, literacy grants went to Allegan County Intermediate School District, Alma Public Schools, Children's Resource Network, Michigan Colleges Foundation, Parents Network (South Haven), Shelby Area District Library, St. Augustine School (Richmond) and Sojourner Truth Technical Training Center at Adrian College.

In support of technology education, Verizon also awarded grants to the American Red Cross, Blind Children's Fund, Girl Scouts of America, Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum, Lenawee United Way, Michiana Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Muskegon Summer Celebration, The Owosso Chamber Foundation and Shelter Inc. (Alpena).

Verizon recognized the importance of the state's work force development programs by awarding additional grants to Alpena Community College, Corporation for a Skilled Work Force, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan, Kettering University, Mid-Michigan Industries, Urban League of Greater Muskegon and the West Michigan Community Help Network.

In addition to these grants, 120 Michigan agencies received a total of more than $115,000 through Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. 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 more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.