Verizon Donates $15,000 to Aid California Firefighters' Families, Wildfire Evacuees

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The Verizon Foundation is donating $5,000 to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to help families of five firefighters killed battling the Esperanza fire in Riverside County and a further $10,000 to the American Red Cross to assist residents who lost their homes in the blaze.

"Our prayers and hopes go out to our fellow Californians as they strive to cope with the impact of these firestorms," said Verizon Pacific West President Tim McCallion. "We urge Verizon employees to contribute to these very important causes through the Verizon Foundation program that doubles their generosity by matching donations dollar for dollar."

The $5,000 contribution goes to the Idaho-based Wildland Firefighters Foundation (www.wffoundation.org), which is providing financial and emotional support to the families of the five firefighters. The $10,000 donation goes to the Riverside County chapter of the American Red Cross (http://www.riversidecounty.redcross.org), which is supporting residents displaced by the fire.

Verizon is providing services to help customers affected by the fires stay connected with their friends and family. The company has set up a bank of public phones on Twin Pines Road east of Highway 243 that allow evacuees to place a free local or long-distance calls.

Verizon customers who are out of service as a result of the fire can opt -- at no charge -- to have their telephone calls automatically forwarded to a working phone number at another location where they are staying, or to a wireless number. Customers will not be billed the one-time set-up fees or monthly charges for call-forwarding, although customers will be responsible for any toll charges on forwarded calls, including any wireless charges.

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 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 Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.