Verizon Supports West Virginia Nonprofit Groups To Promote Literacy, Technology, Work Force Development

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Verizon reaffirmed its commitment to the communities that the company serves in West Virginia by providing grants in 2003 for a broad range of literacy, work force development, technology and human service programs.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, last year donated $716,000 to nearly 300 nonprofit groups in the Mountain State. Nationwide, the foundation donated about $70 million to worthy causes and charities, including matching nearly $14 million in donations from employees.

"We believe in investing in our communities through strategic partnerships with organizations that support education and literacy, technology education, and health and human services," said Verizon West Virginia President H. Stan Cavendish. "Verizon's grants continue to underscore our long-standing goal of improving the communities we serve and providing excellent service to our customers."

    Recipients of major grants in 2003 included:

  • West Virginia University's Storyteller Program - $40,000 to help start an innovative literacy program to assist low-income adults in improving their own literacy and in reading better to their children. Program participants also receive children's books because many of their families have no reading materials at home.

  • West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities - $47,000 to support scholarships for minority students at each of West Virginia's private colleges and universities, as well as continuing financial assistance for the Circle of Vision scholarship program that supports 1,148 deserving West Virginia students.

  • Community service organization grants - $109,000 to 93 local volunteer groups and nonprofits from Morgantown to Logan, many affiliated with local United Ways, to upgrade the technology they use in their offices or programs to provide services to clients.

Verizon recognized the importance of the state's work force development efforts by awarding more than $41,000 in scholarships and grants to West Virginia schools, including Marshall University, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College and West Liberty State College.

Verizon Foundation also provided strong support for the arts. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, now based in the new Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, received $40,000: $15,000 to support its nationally recognized interactive concert program for kindergarten through 12th-grade students and $25,000 for the John L. and Sallie F. McClaugherty Conductor's Podium Endowment.

In addition to the Verizon Foundation grants, 121 nonprofit agencies, churches and schools received more than $229,000 through Verizon Volunteers, a program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and that provides matching gifts to the nonprofit organizations that employees support.

Verizon Foundation ranks as one of the largest corporate foundations in America, providing grants and developing programs to support the communities where Verizon does business. The foundation places special emphasis on literacy, work force development and the use of technology for the benefit of all people. 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 $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon 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.