Just over a year ago this week, a series of massive storms swept through America’s heartland. The storms spawned mammoth tornadoes, the most notable of which occurred in Moore, Oklahoma. The unstable storm whipped itself into an EF5 twister that gnawed a 17-mile path of destruction across the Plains. Lives were lost, hundreds were injured, and an estimated $2 billion in damages were assessed.
As a company, Verizon was fortunate that no employees were harmed, but Verizon Wireless employees Cynthia Hammond and JT Byrne lost their homes. It was because of the urgent needs of these employees, and the inevitability of more disaster victims to come, that Verizon accelerated plans to launch a new employee-giving program called V2V.
V2V is the answer to a question often asked when Verizon employees hear about others in need: “How can I help?”
It’s one that was often heard during disasters, particularly Hurricane Sandy, which devastated so many East Coast employees. Verizon employees are consistently generous, donating thousands of dollars to charities like the Red Cross and Salvation Army to aid in disasters, and ready to pitch in wherever they are needed.
V2V is a new charity that allows Verizon employees worldwide to donate to a fund that, in turn, provides grants to their fellow employees in disaster situations that affected their ability to live in their primary homes. There are no administrative fees – ever; every penny goes to a fellow Verizon employee in need, and the Verizon Foundation provides a match for every dollar donated.
“Just knowing that there are people out there – people who don’t know you – that reach out to you and help you. It was really touching and it meant so much to us, said Avery Freeman, a customer service representative and V2V recipient in Missouri. “It touched my heart.”
Since V2V’s launch, employees worldwide have generously donated through check, credit card and even stock donations. Employees have also donated through one-time and recurring payroll deductions.
To date, those donations have helped 29 Verizon employees (and their families), from the USA and across the globe, handle devastating disasters.
Disaster Relief, Verizon Foundation