Two Charleston Nonprofits to Receive Books, Thanks to Verizon's Annual Season's Readings Program

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Two Charleston nonprofit organizations will receive more than 1,500 new and gently used books that Verizon employees in the state collected during Season's Readings, the company's annual national book drive.

Season's Readings began in 2001 as a Verizon employee campaign to advance the cause of children's literacy nationwide.  Since then, more than 2 million children's books have been donated to 3,500 organizations across the country.

In West Virginia, the donated books will be evenly distributed to the YWCA Sojourner's Shelter, which provides shelter and emergency services to homeless women and families, and the East End Family Resource Center to support its literacy program.

"We are inspired by the outpouring of support for this effort because getting books into the hands of children is a critical factor in building lifelong learners," said B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.  "Having access to reading materials is essential to developing literacy skills.  So, year after year, our employees, through the Season's Readings program, put books in the hands of those in need. 

"That commitment to building a more literate America extends into classrooms, libraries and nonprofit organizations in communities across the country, where our employees act as ambassadors of Verizon's literacy agenda," Fulton added.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad.  The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, 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 more than 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and in 2007 generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.