Verizon Foundation Awards Nearly $300,000 in Grants to 17 Connecticut Non-profit Organizations

MERIDEN, CT — Seventeen non-profit organizations in Connecticut will benefit from nearly $300,000 in grants from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Wireless.

The grants, ranging from $3,000 to $50,000, will fund organizations that help victims of domestic violence and programs that support technology and literacy initiatives. Grants were also given to workforce development programs that help support job retention, improve basic computer literacy skills, and aid vocational and disability programs.

"We are committed to support to the diverse communities we work in, and we strongly believe economic vitality in Connecticut depends on a skilled and stable workforce," said Bob Stott, Verizon Wireless New England president. "Some of these grants will establish programs to help workers receive the necessary training to remain competitive in today's challenging labor market. The grants will also help victims of domestic violence gain financial independence through job training so they can leave violent relationships and provide a healthy environment for themselves and their children."

In April, nonprofit and educational organizations throughout Connecticut were invited to submit proposals for the grants through Verizon Foundation's online application process.

The 2003 grant awardees are, by funding category:

Verizon Wireless HopeLineSM (program confronts domestic violence with technology solutions):

  • Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence — East Hartford, $50,000 for training child advocates supporting young victims of domestic violence.
  • Center for Women & Families — Bridgeport, $14,105 to provide staff training and computer software upgrades.

Verizon Works (Supporting programs that prepare the workforce of the future):

  • STRIVE/New Haven — New Haven, $ 25,000 to provide computer literacy training and job skill development in coordination with Gateway Community College targeted to under-served population of the Greater New Haven.
  • CTE, Inc. — Greenwich/Stamford/Darien, $25,000 to provide computer skills and Internet training with a focus on job readiness for low-income and non-English speaking people.
  • Mercy Learning Center — Bridgeport $12,045 to upgrade and expand computer lab used to train students in technology and gain skills necessary for employment.

Verizon Connects (Supporting programs that put information technology to work for communities):

  • Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. — Bridgeport, $25,000 to provide computer-training programs for individuals who are difficult to employ.
  • Sacred Heart University — Fairfield, $25,000 to support the Information Technology Certificate Program, a two-year course of study, which is followed by an internship that prepares Hispanic students for the job market.
  • Norwalk Hospital Foundation — Norwalk, $20,000 to introduce communication technology directly to benefit patients, especially the under-served and indigent, and to make research information more accessible
  • Shelter for the Homeless — Stamford, $10,000 to teach homeless men and women basic computer and business skills.
  • CT Association of Nonprofits — Statewide organization based in Hartford, $10,000 to enhance website and database to foster training, education, collaboration and technical assistance to nonprofits.
  • Hole in the Wall Gang Fund, Inc. — New Haven, $7,500 to redesign Website and provide Internet access for year-round support for children living with cancer, sickle cell anemia and HIV/AIDS.
  • Reach Prep — Greenwich, $3000 for Website development and interactive online community resource and leadership projects at 20 schools in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

Verizon Reads (Supporting programs dedicated to the fight for a more literate America):

  • Women and Families Center — Meriden, $25,000 to provide basic computer literacy and job readiness skills for displaced homemakers, low income, non-English speaking people.
  • YMCA- Hartford, $25,000 to offer effective and affordable reading and spelling instruction to individuals with reading disabilities and training to teachers and parents to facilitate children's reading acquisition and prevent reading failure.
  • Success Foundation — Stamford, $10,000 for low income 9th graders to spend four weeks on college campus taking courses in study skills, communications and computer training.
  • Sail New London, Inc, - New London, $5,000 to support literacy events directed to all ages.
  • Annual Multicultural Business Youth Education Services Embarkment — Danbury, $5,000 for programs to increase written and verbal communication and computer literacy skills in Connecticut's workforce who speak English as a second language.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies across the country, focusing on improving basic computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force.

This is the first year grants were awarded in Connecticut. The Foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities and the economically and socially disadvantaged.

The Foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon and Verizon Wireless employees to volunteer in their communities. The Foundation provides matching gifts to charitable and nonprofit organizations based on the number of employee volunteer hours. For more information about the foundation, visit  

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 34.6 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