Verizon Operators On the Line This Week Helping Erin Brockovich 'Challenge America'

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NEW YORK -- Verizon LiveSourcesm operators are ready, taking calls from companies and individuals across America who are helping author-activist Erin Brockovich meet the challenge to reconstruct a New York City soccer field and outdoor amphitheater in less than a week.

"We set up a special call center to support the 'Challenge America' project because this is all about the renewed spirit of community, cooperation and caring that is sweeping the country," said Kitty Linder, president of Verizon's operator services business unit, now called Verizon LiveSource. "And, because this project is about New York and lifting the city's spirit and rebuilding its facilities, we have New Yorkers on the phones, making it happen."

The soccer field and band shell are in East River Park along the East River in lower Manhattan. Though not directly impacted by the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, the reconstruction of park facilities in the area will give an important boost to the city.

The challenge was presented to Brockovich by Mayor Rudy Giuliani live on ABC's Good Morning America show this morning. She accepted the challenge. Viewers who visit ABC's Website at, keyword "challenge," are given the toll-free number, 1-866-ERIN NOW, for pledging. Verizon's Live Source operators began taking calls before 8 a.m. and will take calls daily between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST.

ABC Television will air a one-hour special, "Challenge America With Erin Brockovich: The Miracle in Manhattan," chronicling the week Brockovich spends gathering resources and getting the soccer field refurbished and band shell rebuilt. Capping both the project and the TV show will be a party, to include top entertainment Brockovich is to recruit, at the rebuilt amphitheater, for children of victims of the September 11 attacks and of American military personnel serving in the Afghanistan conflict.

The challenge was posed by the Mentorn Group, a production company that has done similar challenges and TV specials in Europe. Verizon accepted the challenge to support the endeavor by creating the toll-free number and the call center. Verizon Wireless is providing wireless communications for Brockovich as she spends "six days and four hours" making the project happen. Payphones provided by Verizon will support workers at the site.

"This is the best kind of support we could give to the challenge," Linder said. "It involves people and caring, and our operators take great pride in their skills at supporting people effectively."

Verizon LiveSource provides call completion and local and national directory assistance information to Verizon's consumer and business customers, and offers, on a wholesale basis, operator services to other telecommunications companies nationwide. Verizon's operators handle more than five million calls per day, completing calls or providing information to customers.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit


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