Verizon's Florida Employees Team Up With Company to Aid Community Service Organizations in the State

TAMPA, Fla. – Tim Williams demonstrates his concern for young people by volunteering with Florida's Guardian ad Litem Program, which provides services for abused, neglected or otherwise at-risk children.  As a result, Williams' employer, Verizon, is providing a grant of $750 to the nonprofit organization. 

"I believe it's important to give back to the community," said Williams, an account manager with Verizon Enhanced Communities in Tampa.  "I'd do it no matter what, but I think it's tremendous that Verizon will match my commitment with a contribution.  These organizations do important work and need all the help they can get.  It makes me proud to work for the company and for the principles of community service it encourages."

Williams exemplifies the spirit that makes the company's workforce such an asset to the community.  He is one of hundreds of Verizon employees in Florida and thousands more across the country whose contributions of time to various community organizations translate into cash contributions through the Verizon Volunteers program.

The umbrella program, the largest of its kind in America, matches both volunteer hours and employee contributions with funding from the Verizon Foundation.  As a result, 574 organizations in Florida received more than $919,000 in grants last year from the foundation.

Verizon Volunteers is just one facet of the Verizon Foundation's program of support in Florida.  Additionally, the foundation awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants to Florida nonprofit groups, which competed for the awards by submitting specific funding proposals.  Overall, the foundation provided nearly $2.3 million in grant support in Florida during 2006.

"The Verizon Foundation provides important support for the communities in which we live and work," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president.  "While it's always exciting to provide large grants, personally I think the grants that flow through our employees and their community involvement are more significant and meaningful.  Those grants capture the best of what it means to have Verizon present and active in the region."

Florida organizations as diverse as schools, Little Leagues, community service groups and large institutions, among others, were recipients of both volunteer time from employees and the cash grants from the Verizon Foundation that the employee volunteer time generated.  Additionally, through the competitive grant process, the foundation awarded gifts ranging from $500 to $100,000 to eligible 501 (c)3 nonprofit organizations. 

Verizon Volunteers offers a number of options employees can select to translate their commitments into contributions for nonprofit organizations.  The options are:

The Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) recognizes employees' contribution of time and talent to nonprofit organizations located in their community or surrounding areas. Under the program, employees are eligible to apply for a grant on behalf of the qualified organization where they volunteered 50 hours or more during the year. The foundation rewards these employee volunteers with a $750 check for presentation to the designated organization. Employees may request VIP grants on behalf of two separate organizations for a total of $1,500 each year.

The Verizon Team Incentive Program rewards teams of ten or more eligible employees who collectively raise funds for nonprofit organizations across the country through organized pledge drives, such as walk-a-thons or bike-a-thons. Under the program, the foundation matches funds collected by each team -- up to $10,000 per team, per event -- to qualified nonprofit organizations. Each active employee team member may individually earn a maximum of $1,000 in matching funds a year.

The Verizon Matching Incentive Program provides an opportunity for all eligible active employees and retirees to have their contributions matched in one or more categories of giving that meet Verizon's eligibility criteria. These categories are: education, arts and culture, health and human services, and the environment.

Eligible employees may contribute in both categories.

  • Colleges and Universities: $5,000 per year, matched 1-to-1.

  • Employee Choice: $1,000 per year for any qualified nonprofit charity, matched 1-to-1.

"We will continue to be an agent for support in our communities in 2007, through our employees and the foundation, as we also continue to bring industry-leading fiber technology to the region," said Ciamporcero. 

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery.  In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 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 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.