United Way of North Essex Receives Computers From Verizon Wireless for Student Program

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Verizon Wireless recently donated 160 used personal computers to the United Way of North Essex for needy students in the county. The Pentium-level computers and components will be used by the United Way's Technology, Education, Access and Mentoring (TEAM) Program which aims to improve computer literacy for disadvantaged families.

Bill Robinson, operations director and head of the TEAM program, contacts corporations in the area each year to request computers for the program.

"The center has an annual objective to provide 200 refurbished PCs to needy school-age children," Robinson said. "With Verizon Wireless' donation, we'll exceed our goal for this year and be able to train more disadvantaged families in our community."

Robinson explained many families don't own a computer and lack the basic computer skills necessary in an increasingly technological world. In response, TEAM builds neighborhood computer learning centers, coordinates volunteers and enlists service-learning interns to train disadvantaged students to become computer literate. Once they successfully complete the training program, TEAM rewards them with a refurbished, upgraded PC and Internet access for their homes.

"Timing was key in this case because we happened to be replacing a large number of computers," said Cynthia Grupe, director IT planning and engineering. "We're pleased the PC's will be given to children to help them achieve in school and compete for jobs in the future. Understanding the Internet and being computer-savvy is essential today."

Reclaiming and refurbishing used technology equipment to benefit those in need is nothing new for Verizon Wireless. Through its signature program, HopeLineSM, the company became the first wireless carrier to introduce a wireless phone recycling program. Through its Hopeline recycling program, the company collects no longer used wireless phones to be refurbished, recycled or sold. Proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or used to purchase phones for victims. As a result of HopeLine and related phone recycling programs the company has organized since 1995, Verizon Wireless has collected one million used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims, including more than 60,000 wireless handsets in the New York Metro area.

Donations are accepted at all 66 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in the New York Metro area. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 32.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.