Verizon Communications and more than a dozen leading community advocacy groups in California have launched an independent $25 million fund that will benefit community and educational programs serving the state's low-income, minority, ethnic, and other "underserved" communities.
GTE and Bell Atlantic, which merged last year to become Verizon, agreed to establish the fund when California regulators approved the deal. The fund, to be known as the Community Collaborative Fund, will have an independent administrator who will oversee the distribution of grants.
"The Community Collaborative Fund ensures that California's traditionally underserved communities will benefit from the sweeping changes we are seeing in the telecommunications industry," said Verizon Pacific Region president Tim McCallion. "With this fund, Verizon is demonstrating its long-term commitment to Californians — a commitment that will live on beyond the life of the fund."
Verizon has presented the first installment of $2.5 million to the California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF), which will serve as the fund's administrator. CCPF will direct the money to programs throughout the state that provide access to telecommunications and information services, education and telemedicine, and that promote literacy and economic development in low-income, ethnic, minority, limited-English-speaking, and disabled communities.
Verizon will contribute the remainder of the $25 million in annual installments of $2.5 million through 2010. In addition to the Community Collaborative Fund, Verizon has made commitments to provide almost $30 million to philanthropic causes in California over the next decade. For more information on Verizon's giving programs, visit: the Verizon Foundation Web site.