ROCHESTER, NY — Verizon Wireless is donating space in its Rochester call center to support Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast, a commercial-free telethon, to be broadcast tonight. More than 250 Verizon Wireless employees in Rochester are expected to volunteer to take donations during the telethon. The Rochester call center is one of three Verizon Wireless call centers that will be taking telethon calls. The other two are in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
The fundraising program is to be simulcast by ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, the WB and UPN networks plus more than 30 cable affiliate channels. It will air at 8 p.m. locally. The program will be broadcast live in the Eastern and Central time zones and tape delayed for the nation's other time zones. All donations will go to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
"This disaster has affected our employees, our customers and our communities in ways large and small," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Verizon Wireless is proud to support relief efforts in this way and we thank our employee volunteers for their participation."
Verizon Wireless continues to work with the American Red Cross to distribute phones to shelters in Louisiana, Texas and areas across the South where evacuees have been transported to help them connect with family and friends. In the first few days after evacuees arrived in Houston, they were making more than 300 calls per hour from Verizon Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs) at the Astrodome and Reliant Arena. The WECCs were established to help evacuees place calls, re-charge their phones and provide technical support and customer service, free of charge. Verizon Wireless employees from other states volunteered their assistance to the WECCs. Additional WECCs will be set up as needed as additional evacuees are relocated to other parts of the country.
All Verizon Wireless stores in the impacted areas on the Gulf Coast are offering free local and long distance wireless calls to help victims of the storm contact family members and friends, as well as free battery recharging and technical support.
In addition, Verizon Wireless and Verizon Communications employees, through the Verizon Foundation, have raised more than $6 million to hurricane relief to date.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data 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. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.