Verizon Donates $20,000 and Wireless Phones to Aid Victims of Tornados in Southeast Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. - Verizon is providing $20,000 in grants to assist Virginians forced from their homes as a result of a string of tornados that swept across the southeastern and central regions of the state Monday (April 28).

Verizon Wireless has also provided 100 phones to the American Red Cross in Suffolk for emergency communications volunteers who are handling requests for assistance as well as accepting donations from concerned citizens.

"Communicating is critical in times of crisis," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.  "Through these grants, providing wireless phones, and our employees' efforts to restore service, we hope to help emergency workers carry out their important work and provide a little comfort to those affected by this tragedy."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, plans to donate $20,000 to the American Red Cross for tornado victims, with $15,000 going to the Suffolk County chapter and $5,000 to the Southside chapter.

Other Verizon efforts to assist those affected by the tornados include:

  • Verizon Wireless lent 10 wireless modems to the Red Cross to add high-speed Internet and e-mail connections for the agency's laptop computers. 

  • After the tornados passed, Verizon Wireless added capacity to its wireless network to handle additional calling volume in the Suffolk area. In addition, the company is taking steps to augment wireless service inside the American Red Cross office on Main Street in downtown Suffolk.

  • Verizon technicians are restoring landline phone service after power company employees completed work to make affected areas safe from downed power lines.

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 67 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 employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.