Laptop and book.

Press Release

Greater Everett Community Foundation

September 24, 2007

$1.2 Million Distributed to Washington State Non Profits


Everett, WA, September 17, 2007 – Greater Everett Community Foundation announced the award of grants from the Verizon/MCI Merger Public Purpose Fund to eight organizations for their work to improve consumer use and understanding of telecommunications and information services.

Grant recipients will reach out to groups and individuals with information about accessing the internet for employment, education and service needs, as well as informing consumer choices about telecommunications and internet connectivity. For instance, Community Voice Mail, based in Seattle but serving the entire state, will provide voicemail boxes and broadcast email service for the homeless. Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology will give re-furbished computers and provide training for families with school-age children in rural Washington. And, the Potlatch Fund, using a mobile computer lab, will bring technology training to Tribal communities throughout Washington.

The Verizon/MCI Merger Public Purpose Fund was established at the Greater Everett Community Foundation by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, as part of a settlement agreement with Verizon, to mitigate the effects of Verizon’s merger with MCI in 2005. The Greater Everett Community Foundation was selected to manage the distribution of public purpose funds; they were assisted in their work by The Giving Practice, a consulting service of Philanthropy Northwest because of their experience in grantmaking and knowledge of the issues involved. An advisory committee composed of representatives of Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Verizon, Office of Public Counsel – Washington State Attorney General, Greater Everett Community Foundation and people knowledgeable about telecommunications, assisted in the selection of winning grant proposals.

Verizon/MCI Merger Public Purpose Fund Grantees Community


Voice Mail National, Seattle – Grant funds will provide access to voicemail and broadcast email service to underserved populations; increase awareness of the service and increase access to information for underserved consumers. $186,997

Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Kennewick – Computer/Internet Access and Employment Training Program – The project will provide computer instruction and access to state of the art Internet resources for seeking employment for blind and visually impaired individuals living in the greater Tri-Cities area and surrounding communities in southeastern Washington State. $32,000

Npower Seattle – Building Capacity and Inspiring Relevant Innovation – The project aim is to help improve life opportunities for hard to reach populations in Washington State by providing technology know how to selected local nonprofits that serve them. The project will help nonprofits serving hard to reach populations build their technology capacity. $150,000

Opportunity Council, Bellingham – Northwest Washington Access to Technology Consumer Education Project – Funding will be used to provide education and outreach services to consumers in Whatcom, Island, Skagit and Snohomish Counties and to develop a TCET Web site. $270,000

Potlatch Fund, Seattle – Strengthening Technology Literacy for North West Native Communities – Funding will equip a mobile computer lab, a resource CD and quick reference guide and technology literacy trainings to empower more residents of Washington’s Indian country through the use of Internet and telecommunications resources. $55,000

Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Bothell – TechREACH Alliance – The TechREACH Alliance is a partnership between PSCTLT, Wilderness Technology Alliance and the TEConnections program to increase technology access and literacy in underserved communities located in E. WA and W. WA, through training and provision of refurbished computers. $175,000

Stone Soup, Republic – Shop the Frontier: Using Telecommunications to Connect Rural Products with Urban Markets – The goal of this project is to create a regional economic development strategy that uses telecommunications and information services to educate small businesses and entrepreneurs and provide information about how telecommunications can provide specific benefits to rural communities. $180,389

WithinReach – Connecting Washington Families to Health – WithinReach will use grant funds to increase the capacity of its statewide parenting & health education Information and Referral Call Center, and to introduce its innovative new Web tool,, linking low-income families with information about and applications for a variety of public assistance programs. $150,000

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