Bell Atlantic Contributes Quarter Million Dollars to Red Cross For New York and New England Ice Storm Relief Efforts
January 14, 1998
food and shelter for families displaced by the severe ice storms in
upstate New York and northern New England.
"Bell Atlantic employees are doing an outstanding job in keeping the
phone lines open under extremely difficult conditions. Many live as
well as work in these devastated areas. This emergency relief is
designed to help the families, neighbors and communities of our
customers and our employees," said Raymond W. Smith, Bell Atlantic
The $250,000 donation from the Bell Atlantic Foundation is earmarked
to defray expenses at more than 80 American Red Cross shelters serving
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. It is the largest private
donation the Red Cross has received for this relief effort.
Smith added, "Regardless of where we live, all of us in the Bell
Atlantic family share a dedication to improving the lives of those we
serve. Our support for these local communities will continue long
after the last of the ice melts."
Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross, said, "I am
moved by the level of commitment Bell Atlantic has made to our efforts to help the
hundreds of thousands of people left cold, homeless and isolated by this
vicious storm. This generous gift will help the Red Cross -- led by thousands
of volunteers -- to provide hot meals, warm dry places to stay, and a ray of
hope to the families and communities struck so hard by this disaster.
My heartfelt thanks goes to the people of Bell Atlantic who answered the call,
because help can't wait."
Bell Atlantic crews, including those being called in from areas not
affected by the storm, are working round-the-clock to maintain or
restore telephone service to customers throughout upstate New York and
northern New England.
Most Bell Atlantic customers never lost phone service, even though
electric power outages have been widespread.
In locations without commercial power, phone company offices have been
kept open using emergency backup systems. Most phone problems have
been caused by ice downing individual phone lines to customers' homes
and businesses. More than 2,000 Bell Atlantic technicians are
out repairing these lines. In addition, the company has provided
cellular phones to the American Red Cross and for other emergency
Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.8
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of
directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the
world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets,
with operations and investments in 21 countries.