December 2008 - Vol. 3 / Issue 13
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Dear Jill,
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Literacy
The West Virginia Chapter, led by President Geneva Templin, donated dozens of books to the three and four-year-olds at Holy Family Child Care Center in Wheeling Nov. 13. The group also visited neighboring Good Shepherd Nursing Home with donations of Beanie Babies, lap throws, teddy bears and personal care items. Attending the Holy Family tour and final chapter meeting of the year in Wheeling were representatives from councils in Charleston, Clarksburg, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg and Wheeling, as well as Verizon Pioneers Executive Director Steve Kohn.

In addition to this local community service project, the chapter has applied for and received $25,000 in grant money from the Verizon Foundation to be used for domestic violence and literacy projects throughout the state over the last three years.
Santa Barbara Fire
During the recent round of Southern California brush fires, the R. Parker Sullivan Life Member Club of the Verizon West Chapter was able to assist many of the evacuees with well-appreciated disaster kits containing many of the daily care needs that were left behind in the rush for safety.

The "Tea Fire" burned over 1,940 acres and destroyed 230 homes before being contained, changing what was a beautiful area into a pile of ash. The victims were amazed that the club was thoughtful enough to consider their immediate needs. One victim reported that it had been three days since she had really been able to enjoy simple things like brushing her teeth!

Each of the more than 100 kits contained a new towel, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, soap, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream for the guys and special products for the ladies. Each kit was individually packaged for either a man or lady. The workers at the evacuation center advised that these were the kinds of donations that were REALLY needed since many people brought food and baked goods that the Red Cross was unable to distribute due to health regulations.
Carpet Map
On Tuesday, October 28, during the first snowfall of the season, Lorrie Smith, Joan Dinger and Barbara Hamilton, all of the Warren Life Member Club with the McCully Upstate Chapter, delivered and presented a carpet map of the United States to the Andover Morris School of Phillipsburg, N.J. This school, supporting third through fifth grades, reports that more than 85% of the children are on the Free Lunch Program. The school doesn't receive any help other that what the state allocates, and with those funds decreasing each year, it becomes harder and harder for the educators. So, the Verizon Pioneer donation of a brand new carpet map of the United States was a very welcomed and very appreciated gift. Teachers plan to hang it as a backdrop for the weather report the 5th graders produce each morning on their in-house TV station. They also will use it on the floor for History and Geography sessions in the library. It was very refreshing for the three Pioneers in attendance to listen to the teachers discuss all the possibilities with such appreciation and enthusiasm. The Warren Life Member Club also surprised the school with a brand new V-Tech Touch Tablet, provided by the Morristown Council. At the end of the visit, the club provided written information to the school on both the Thinkfinity and Project:Connect projects.
Lou Tomes
Our Life Member Spotlight is on...
Lou Tomes of the L.H. Kinnard Chapter

Hope Lodge, a free, short-term residential facility for cancer patients and their caregivers, has been in existence since the Pioneers helped host the grand opening in its facility near Hershey, PA, 20 years ago. There are still shiny plaques on the bedroom doors acknowledging L.H. Kinnard Chapter's donation of furnishings. Last year, the rooms needed a good repainting and Lou Tomes stepped up (on the ladder, so to speak). Lou painted all 14 bedrooms and more. He continues to actively show support and has changed fluorescent light bulbs, cleaned the commercial sized refrigerator filters, washed windows, and basically is on call to see that needs are met. He is called the "chair doctor" as he glues the wooden chairs back together.

Another job that usually shows up on Lou's weekly agenda is helping build Habitat for Humanity houses in the Allison Hill section of Harrisburg, PA. Lou has given over 3,000 hours in the six years he has volunteered.
Hope Partnership
The Headquarters Council of the Liberty Bell Chapter received recognition honors from Hope Partnership for Education's executive administrative staff and the Board of Directors at the school's Annual Recognition and Fundraiser Reception held at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia on October 16. Headquarters' joint Community Service and Literacy Committee was honored for its continued support and participation in the school's various student (5th through 8th grades) and adult education and development programs.

Headquarters' involvement with Hope started in 2004 with the Student Dictionary Program and has expanded to an on-going commitment of support. These continuous efforts provide assistance to the school through the provisioning of updated educational material (for the students and teachers' utilization during regular scheduled class hours, as well as, supporting after school 'one on one' remedial help) and the provisioning of reference books for their new library. Through donations from Headquarters' membership, they were able to support various extracurricular activities, which afforded the students the opportunity to attend social and sporting events. In addition, Headquarters was able to indirectly help the school's adult programs.
 
(Photo: L-R) Linda Kane-Jones, Jim Jones, Fran Spagna, George Butler, Marie Yotsko.
Martha Campbell
Our Life Member Spotlight is on...
Martha Campbell of the Nova 5 Chapter

Martha Campbell began her career with New York Telephone on January 18, 1955 as an operator. A year later, she was a junior service assistant, and in 1959 was promoted to the Business Office as a business office representative. In 1961, she became a service advisor in Business Services.

In 1976, after 21 years with the company, Martha was asked to join the Telephone Pioneers of America. She never realized what this meant until she became Manhattan Empire Chapter's Pioneer Administrator in June 1985. When Martha retired in June 1990, she was ready to be a true Pioneer. She volunteered in the Pioneer Office by sending letters to recent retirees giving them information about attending their life member club meetings. She was elected life member representative for two years and fundraising chairperson for her life member club.

For many years, she participated in the Gift Shop for the New York City Marathon, March of Dimes, Nursing Homes and Children's Hospital. At the yearly life member picnics, she would set up a fundraising raffle table with her donated handmade shawls, bottles of "spirits," and afghans donated by other life members.

In 1993, Martha started a chapter fund raising project based on the New York State three digit lottery numbers. Through the years, she has been able to raise thousands of dollars for community service projects. She devotes her evenings to crocheting lap robes for the residents of local nursing homes.
Aid for Friends
On Oct. 15, 2008, seven Upper Darby Council volunteers of the Liberty Bell Chapter met in the annex of St. Dorothy Church in Drexel Hill, PA, to assemble 40 meals for Aid for Friends, a program that provides frozen home-cooked meals to homebound residents in the community. The volunteers filled the three-compartment aluminum foil trays with meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and string beans, then wrapped each one, including cookies, brownies, rolls, and a menu sheet. Each meal was slipped in a plastic bag before placing in the freezers. They will be delivered seven at a time, to the Aid for Friends recipients, who are always very grateful for the meals. Fifty hours were spent on this worthwhile project.
Thank You Troops
It's easy to say thanks to a soldier this season by partnering with XEROX. Simply visit www.LetsSayThanks.com to pick out a thank you card created by a student and write an encouraging note. Xerox will print and send it to a soldier who is currently serving in Iraq. It is free and it only takes a minute.

Our Estore manager would like to hear your recommendations on new products. Please e-mail bruceyennie@verizon.net with your feedback.

Verizon TelecomPioneers
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phone: 978.745.9600