‘I hear a siren every five minutes.’

By: Diana Alvear

The situation in India, how we’re helping and how you can too. Plus, the latest business news.

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On today’s Up To Speed live, host Diana Alvear shared the latest updates.

Standing with India

V Teamers around the world have heavy hearts as they watch the unfolding tragedy in India, where the number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 continues to rise. In a taped message, Chief Human Resources Officer Christy Pambianchi assured all V Teamers impacted by the tragic situation that “we stand with you and hold you in our hearts.”

V Teamers in India can ask questions and receive support 24/7 through a newly created helpline. You can also check our COVID-19 resource page for more details. We want to make sure you have direct access to the information you need to stay safe.

In addition, Christy announced that Verizon is making a $100,000 donation in support of the American Red Cross COVID-19 Response Fund which is directing support to Indian Red Cross relief efforts. The Indian Red Cross is supporting a variety of relief efforts including ambulance services, first aid, medical care, PPE, food, oxygen, vaccinations, community outreach, hygiene promotion, and prevention awareness.

Each of us can help as individuals as well. For every $1 donated to American Red Cross COVID-19 Relief Fund by employees through the below links, the Verizon Foundation will match an additional $2, up to a maximum of $100,000 in total. This campaign is in addition to the normal employee matching gifts program thresholds.

The campaign will run through May 7, 2021. To access the donation sites:
Verizon Media employees click here
All other Verizon employees click here

“We’re going to do everything we can to help us get to the other side of this crisis,” said Christy.

Checking in with Mubin

Our Up To Speed teammate Sravya Gajjala checked in with Mubin Sultan from the Verizon India team to see how things are on the ground. Personally, Mubin is happy that her grandmother is now out of the hospital, but admits it is difficult to focus on work matters. On top of dealing with the stress and anxiety of the current wave, Mubin also has not seen her husband, who is working as a doctor in Spain, in over a year. She urges everyone, both in and outside of India, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Recap of the week’s news

This was another busy week on Up To Speed. If you missed anything, feel free to check out these episodes.

Monday’s episode: We chatted with Christy about the why and how of Work Forward and what this means for all of us as V Teamers.

Tuesday’s episode: We explored the Verizon Story, the new digital and physical experience that captures the moments and milestones in communication that have brought us to where we are today, and our role as a company in that journey.

Thursday’s episode: We checked the Good mailbox for great stories about tree planting, volunteering and kindness.

Our Indianapolis V Team puts community first

Speaking of the kindness of V Teamers, after the tragic mass shooting at the FedEx distribution center in Indianapolis two weeks ago, our local team wanted to do something to show that kindness still exists and that the human spirit will not be broken.

Solutions Specialist Tyler Morton, General Manager Jasmine Shelton and the rest of the 350 Massachusetts Avenue team put together snacks and treat bags as a thank you to show support for their local FedEx and UPS partners, letting them know how much they’re appreciated during a difficult time.

Thank you Tyler, Jasmine and team for doing so much good at such a tough time.

Small Business Days

Clearly, the last several months have been hard on small businesses, but we’ve been there supporting them every step of the way. Now, we’re kicking off Small Business Days which run through May 7 in all of our retail stores, where we’ll be offering even more help. Andy caught up with Business Sales VP Aimee Novak to learn more.

“The team is super excited to work with small businesses in their local communities to help them not only survive but thrive,” said Aimee.

Aimee urges all V Teamers to spread the word by going to your social media and using the hashtag #smallbusinessdays to let everyone know about how we’re ready to help.

The importance of our human capital

Today we released our first-ever Human Capital Report, which details the programs and practices that help our employees thrive at work and in life. From recruiting the best talent to creating an inclusive culture, this report is a reflection of our long-standing commitment to be the best place to work. It’s a fun and fascinating read, so check it out.

Apple’s best ‒ we’ve got them

Need a new tablet? Beginning today, customers can order the new iPad Pro featuring the breakthrough M1 chip and 5G, with availability in the second half of May, and also get up to $200 off with an eligible trade-in.

Customers can also now order the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini with 5G in the very regal color of purple, in addition to the all-new AirTag, a private and secure way to locate the items that matter the most. Both are available in stores and online today.

Another “landmark” 5G AR experience with Snap

Verizon and Snap launched the second 5G AR Landmarker experience from their 5G innovation partnership. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband along with Snapchat’s augmented reality technology transform a mural on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California. This immersive experience shares the story behind the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign to build the world’s largest urban wildlife crossing.

Gee whiz - GE and 5G

We’re also working with GE to bring 5G Ultra Wideband to their Research Lab in New York. With 5G on premise, GE researchers will explore how 5G can transform the health care, aviation and energy industries. They'll work on 5G applications like remote patient monitoring, wireless, real-time control of wind farms and predictive maintenance of connected aircraft engines.

Your favorite V gear, now easier to find

We love our Verizon swag, right? We’ll love it even more now because we’re excited to announce the new Verizon Brand Shop, a one-stop online store for branded Verizon merchandise from our approved vendors.

Here are some cool features:

  1. With each purchase our vendors are giving back to organizations we support like VtoV, The National Urban League, Digital Undivided and more.
  2. Each month will have a new featured item on the site.
  3. And for our international V Teamers, the international shop will be live in June.

Emergency broadband for those who need it most

Our commitment to help vulnerable communities and bridge the digital divide continues. Beginning May 12th, Verizon customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program through the government. Qualifying customers will temporarily receive monthly discounts up to $50 per month or up to $75 per month on tribal lands. For more details, and to check eligibility, head over to getemergencybroadband.org.

A very special 5K

On a few of our Friday shows we’ve been sharing different opportunities to get you outside and active. Here’s another one: As part of our mental health awareness and outreach initiative, we are joining with the nonprofit Find Your Anchor to host a National Virtual 5k from June 5-13.

This inspiring V Teamer is moving fast

We leave you today with a story about an inspiring V Teamer: The U.S. Paralympic Cycling Open was held recently in Alabama. Kyle Pitman who supports the Verizon Business Group, raced and brought home two gold medals. As a result, he has been invited to race with the U.S. Team in the Paracycling World Cup being held a few weeks from now in Belgium. His performance at that race, and upcoming timed trials are all that remain to be invited to race at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics for the United States.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

Tell us what you think of Up To Speed.

About the author(s):

Diana Alvear is new to the V Team family. In her previous life, she was a network correspondent and local anchor. These days, she juggles crafting communications with chasing kids and pets.

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