Verizon Wireless Employees Raise $15,000 for Local Shelter

Verizon Wireless Employees Raise $15,000 for Local Shelter

May 19, 2000-COLUMBIA, SC-In six weeks, employees of the Verizon Wireless, formerly Bell Atlantic Mobile, call center raised $15,000 for SisterCare, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing shelter and support for abused women and their children.

The company will make the donation at Finlay Park on Sunday, May 21 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. in conjunction with its Family Fun Day. The employees of the call center and their families will enjoy a day of food, fun, and music, to celebrate their achievements.

The 650 associates at the 70,000 customer call center located in the heart of Richland Mall which opened in November, 1999 selected SisterCare as the organization to support and devised creative ways to raise money for them. The original goal was to raise $6,000 with each internal team of customer relations specialists challenged to raise $200. "I never doubted they would rise to the occasion," said Cathie Firlein, director of the call center. "But, to exceed that level by 150% is absolutely amazing."

This is not the first time Verizon Wireless and its associates have supported SisterCare. In addition to monetary donations, the company has provided wireless phones and service, and voice mailboxes for the use of the staff and residents. "Over the years, Verizon Wireless has been a strong corporate sponsor of SisterCare, doing its part to give to the community of battered women and children in need," said Nancy Barton, SisterCare's Executive Director. "This handsome donation will help enormously with our counseling services in the Midlands."

The associates used creative ways to raise the money, including selling meals to co-workers, bake sales, raffles of merchandise, and passes to dress casually for the day. They even raffled off the director's parking space. "Even though our office environment is very familial, the competition grew rather fierce for the team to raise the most money," said Firlein. "As tallies were announced each week, team leaders and staff managers would regroup to come up with even more zany ideas."

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.


Allen Bosworth



Kathy Shaw