DALLAS - The GTE Foundation today announced it is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross to aid relief efforts in those areas of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic damaged by Hurricane Georges.
GTE owns and operates CODETEL, the Dominican Republic's largest telecommunications company, and is in the process of acquiring a controlling stake in the Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC). Each country will receive $50,000.
"This devastating storm has left thousands in need of support," said Michael T. Masin, GTE vice chairman and president - International. "We know this contribution will be put to good use by the Red Cross to enable the people of these islands to clean up as quickly as possible and return to their normal lives."
Jennifer Dunlap, vice president of the American Red Cross, said, "The American Red Cross is very appreciative of GTE's support of our efforts to help people recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Georges. This gift will help the Red Cross to provide comfort to the families and communities who have been struck so hard by this disaster."
The funds will be used to help provide health services, food and beverages, blankets, personal hygiene items and other supplies. To date, 11 people are dead and nearly 30,000 people in Puerto Rico have been left homeless by the storm; that figure is expected to rise to more than 50,000. In the Dominican Republic, 250 people are dead and at least 100,000 are homeless. Widespread water and electricity outages are being reported on both islands.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this disaster," Masin said. "GTE and its employees care very much about the communities in which we operate, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ease the effects of this devastating storm."
Ranking among the country's top corporate foundations in annual contributions, the GTE Foundation in 1998 will provide more than $27 million in financial support to educational and charitable organizations in the United States and its possessions on behalf of GTE and its subsidiaries.
With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services.
Editors Note: All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. To help the victims of this and other disasters, contributions can be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online credit card contribution by visiting www.redcross.org. For more information about the American Red Cross, please call Ann Andrews at 703-206-7801.