Giving Back to the Community Is Just the Right Thing to Do

Guest Author: D.C. Councilmember Anita Bonds

I’m proud to recognize a company like Verizon that, for over the past five years, has made more than $37 million in contributions to the District of Columbia and whose employees volunteered over 50,000 hours to help the city’s nonprofit organizations make a positive difference in our communities.  Public-private partnerships are the engine that keeps our nation’s capital running strong.  That is why Verizon was recently recognized through a ceremonial resolution.   Verizon is an outstanding private sector partner to the public in the District of Columbia.                                                                                       

During the D.C. Council’s 17th legislative meeting on Nov. 5, I presented Verizon with a ceremonial resolution for the company’s charitable and civic contributions to the District and support of innovative programs in health care, education and literacy, Internet safety, domestic violence prevention, sustainability, and community and business development.

Verizon has supported nonprofits working to prevent domestic violence and serve the vital needs of women, families and children.  Through its HopeLine program, Verizon collected hundreds of used cell phones and donated them to victims of domestic violence.  In addition, Verizon worked with various D.C. nonprofits to promote reading, computer literacy and student engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).                                                                                                                                       

The company’s investments also increased access to quality health care for women, seniors, children and families across the city through meaningful partnerships with D.C.-based organizations such as Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care and Unity Health Care to implement electronic medical record-keeping at numerous health care sites.

Earlier this year, Verizon partnered with the University of the District of Columbia to launch its “Garden of the Senses,” where four new teaching gardens will be created on the Van Ness campus to provide students from the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) with hands-on agricultural and urban gardening experience and the opportunity to mentor D.C. elementary, middle and high school students about how gardens beautify neighborhoods.

And, that’s not all.  Verizon has supported local and regional economic development initiatives by hosting two education, health and technology fairs to offer seniors living in the District vital health care information, one-on-one training on how to navigate the features on their wireless devices, tips on being safe on the Internet, and information on emergency preparedness and discounted phone services.  Last May, Verizon also created a technology center at the Mayor’s Age-Friendly City Senior Symposium to educate older adults on the use of technology. 

In response to the recent D.C. Navy Yard shooting, the Verizon Foundation pledged $25,000 to The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region to assist families of the victims and persons injured in the attack.  Verizon even invested millions of dollars to bring advanced 4G LTE and fiber-optic technology to city residents and businesses to increase educational achievement, access to health care and economic development through our great city.

The D.C. Council’s resolution, which was cited as the “Verizon Ceremonial Recognition Resolution of 2013,” took effect immediately.