LITTLE ROCK – In addition to providing on-the-ground support to Arkansans and communities affected by tornadoes that devastated the state on April 27, Verizon has expanded its support by donating $50,000 to the Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross. Additionally, the company is currently matching employee donations of $25 to $1,000 with a 1-to-1 match.

"Verizon employees have been working alongside us in these affected communities from the moment the storms passed and their presence has certainly helped support families, first responders and businesses during this emergency," said Candace Carey, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross in Arkansas. "This generous donation helps us continue to provide Arkansans with the critical support they need after this disaster."

Verizon Wireless: Working on the ground in affected communities

Monday, Verizon deployed numerous disaster response teams to affected communities, providing on-site emergency phones, charging stations and free internet access to first responders and customers of any wireless carrier. The company also added capacity to its network to allow for the increased wireless traffic that occurs during and after an emergency. By Tuesday morning it had expanded its disaster relief efforts in the multiple communities by increasing the number of disaster response units and placing them in affected neighborhoods to more conveniently serve families who needed support.

Waiving overages charges this month

Verizon announced Monday that it is waiving overage charges for voice, data and text use for the entire month of May for customers in the impacted areas around Mayflower and Vilonia (ZIP codes 72034, 72032, 72106 and 72173).

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific storm," said Kristi Crum, president of Verizon Wireless in Arkansas. "Communication is critical during an emergency and we take great pride in providing first responders and the community with the nation’s most reliable wireless network, which kept them connected during this disaster and continues to help them in the recovery process."

Verizon Wireless customers can make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Text messaging fees will be waived and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the Red Cross. Verizon Wireless customers who receive monthly bills will see their donations on their next regular monthly bill. For customers using the company’s prepaid services, donations will be deducted from their prepaid balances.