West Virginia Nonprofit Groups Received More Than $800,000 in 2006 From Verizon Foundation to Support Literacy, Education, Domestic Violence Initiatives

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Verizon's commitment to West Virginia proved strong in 2006 through grants for a broad range of programs to improve literacy and education, combat domestic violence, and improve health care through the use of technology.

In 2006, the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, provided more than $282,000 in grants to 60 nonprofit groups in West Virginia, and more than 250 other organizations received a total of $530,000 through the foundation's Verizon Volunteers program, which rewards employees with matching gifts and grants to nonprofits that employees donate to and support.  Last year, Verizon employees volunteered more than 18,000 hours to nonprofit groups across the Mountain State.

"Verizon is committed to delivering technology that touches people's lives," said H. Stan Cavendish, president of Verizon West Virginia. "By supporting these worthy organizations and the volunteer spirit of our employees, we are making a difference in the lives of people across the state."

Among the grants awarded by Verizon in 2006 were:

  • West Virginia State University Land Grant, Institute - $75,000 for an after-school literacy program at six Charleston public housing sites, focused on increasing reading skills and making reading enjoyable.

  • YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program, Charleston - $50,000 for a domestic violence prevention program called Safe Date, aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic violence that often begins with dating.

  • East End Family Resource Center and the Salvation Army, Charleston - $30,000 for two Charleston literacy programs --  $10,000 to the East End Family Resource Center for modeling a nationally recognized family literacy program, and $20,000 to the Salvation Army's Charleston (West Side) and St. Albans locations for an after-school literacy program.

  • College Summit - West Virginia, Charleston - $10,000 for a specialized program using writing that is increasing the college-bound rate of students in high schools across the state.

  • Rural Appalachia Improvement League, Mullens - $9,500 for a GED/computer literacy program that provides participants with a high school degree, computer skills and a computer they can build and take home.

  • Old Brick Playhouse, Elkins - $7,500 for a program to encourage reading by elementary students as they perform plays about literacy.

Verizon works closely with a variety of advisory groups and nonprofit organizations to identify local needs and to develop and nurture programs that address those needs through the philanthropic support of 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.