Verizon Makes Major Donation to Benefit Flood Communities

Initial Grants Awarded by Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund

ALBANY, NY (12/22/2011)(readMedia)-- United Way of New York State lauds Verizon for their $100,000 contribution to help New Yorkers affected by the late summer floods. Their grant , to the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund (HIRC), which was established at the request of Governor Andrew M.Cuomo to address the long-term recovery needs related to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

"Our grant is indicative of the longtime and continued support Verizon provides to communities across the state," said Jim Gerace, of Verizon New York. "The storms this fall were devastating to this area, and affected all facets of residents' lives. Besides our dedicated work to reconnect people in this area, we hope this grant provides for much needed help to assist in the overall restoration work to return economic development and stability to this important part of the state."

"Verizon's very generous contribution represents the highest standard of philanthropy for New York's business community, and we are very proud to have them as our partners," said Susan Hager, President of United Way of New York State. "Verizon's contribution will help families purchase clothing, bedding, furnaces and other household items that were lost in the floods, provide security deposits and help with other temporary housing costs, support housing rehabilitation, transportation to now far-away grocery stores, and address other essential needs."

"We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation the New York State School Boards Association and New York State United Teachers which made $10,000 grants each, just as the Fund was getting under way. The commitment of these organizations to New Yorkers in need reflects well on their values and decision to be a part of the solutions that are so desperately needed in these communities," noted Mrs. Hager.

The Fund has made initial grants of $130,897 to communities in Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Schoharie, Ulster and southern Saratoga (Waterford) counties. Additional applications are expected from Delaware County, Greene County and the Adirondack Region as well.

"We are grateful to over 600 other donors who have contributed to the Fund, but more help is needed in order to meet the long-term recovery needs of these families – our fellow New Yorkers", noted Mrs. Hager.

"We would also like to acknowledge the work being done by local United Ways, their charitable partners, and the 2-1-1 call centers to assist residents, local school and business leaders, and government officials with relief and recovery. And most importantly we want to assure New Yorkers that we will continue to "be there" for as long as that help is needed."

To contribute to the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund, send a check made out to the "Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund" and mail it care of United Way of New York State, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, 2nd Floor, Latham, New York 12110-2424. To make a secure donation by credit card, visit our web site at

All donations to the fund are tax deductible, and each donor will receive an acknowledgement of their gift. One hundred percent of the contributions will be used for recovery needs. No administrative costs are being taken.

United Way of New York State is a membership organization representing New York's local United Ways. Our mission is "To strengthen the capacity of United Ways to be leaders in achieving results that improve the lives of all New Yorkers."

United Way of New York State

800 Troy-Schenectady Road, 2nd Floor

Latham, NY 12110-2424