News Release

Verizon Wireless and Verizon Foundation Offer $50,000 in Grant Opportunities to Connecticut Nonprofit Groups

Nearly $300,000 to be Awarded This Year

March 25, 2003

Marcia Simon
860-399-0191

J. Abra Degbor
781-481-1314

WALLINGFORD, CT — Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, and Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading provider of wireless communications, are currently seeking grant proposals for workforce development projects.

Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in Connecticut are invited to apply for competitive grants totaling $50,000. 

"Economic vitality depends on high literacy rates and on-going workforce development programs so area workers are qualified for jobs that are being driven by ever-changing technology," said Bob Stott, president of Verizon Wireless' New England region. 

"Verizon Wireless has invested billions of dollars in the region's telecommunications infrastructure and cares deeply about the communities it serves."

Verizon is seeking proposals that support job retraining, school-to-work programs, welfare-to-work programs, economic development and vocational and disability programs.  Literacy proposals designed to create a better-educated workforce are also sought.

Proposals must be submitted no later than May 19 and must be submitted through Verizon Foundation's web site, www.verizon.com/foundation.  Individual grants will range from $10,000 to $50,000.

To qualify for funding, applicants must be public or private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with a valid Internal Revenue Service tax ID.  Schools must have a current National Center for Education Statistics school and district registration to qualify.

The Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day.  The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force.  The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.  The foundation supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. 

Verizon Foundation also supports the Verizon Wireless HopeLineSM program in Connecticut.  The HopeLine program focuses primarily on putting wireless services to work to combat domestic violence and also seeks to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence and to support prevention and recovery efforts. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.  Information on the HopeLine Program can be found at www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

Verizon will be offering three orientation sessions to assist representatives from non-profit organizations in completing the RFP.  Eligible candidates are invited to attend one of these sessions to learn more about the Verizon Foundation, the specific criteria and goals of this RFP, and how to navigate the Foundation web site and online application.  The schedule of orientation sessions is:

    4/15/2003           
    Westin Hotel & Conference Center, One First Stamford Place, Stamford 
    Session time:  1:30p.m. — 4 p.m. 

    4/16/2003
    Hastings Hotel/Dolce Learning Center, 85 Sigourney Street, Hartford
    Session time:  8:30 am — 11:00 a.m. 

    4/16/2003
    The New Haven Hotel, 229 George Street, New Haven
    Session time:  1:30p.m. — 4 p.m.

Those interested in attending need to RSVP to Janet Young at (212) 395-2720 or via e-mail at janet.g.young@verizon.com with their contact information by April 8th. 

Please provide your name, organization, telephone number, and most importantly, the session you will be attending.  Seating is limited and attendance will be based on a first come, first serve basis.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon 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 www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon
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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers.  Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world.  With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.  For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

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