AT&T Teams with Cell Phones for Soldiers to Help Connect Military Families during the Holiday Season
Company Donates Additional $250,000 in Prepaid Phone Cards; Announces New Push to Help Charity Reach Goal of Free Call Home for All Troops in Iraq
AT&T Awards CPFS Teen Founders With College Scholarships
Making a difference in the lives of military families separated this holiday season can be as simple as donating an old or used wireless phone. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Cell Phones For Soldiers (CPFS) have announced a nationwide call to action for holiday mobile phone donations to help fund the purchase of prepaid phone cards for military personnel stationed in Iraq. AT&T and CPFS have set a goal of raising $1.4 million worth of prepaid cards in the first year of their relationship. This goal would enable every military member stationed in Iraq to make a free, 20-minute phone call home.
AT&T’s 1,800 company-owned retail stores across the United States serve as donation sites for used mobile phones, and the company is contributing 30,000 additional prepaid phone cards for the holidays to CPFS — valued at more than $250,000 — to further help the effort. This brings AT&T’s total commitment for the year to more than $500,000 in free phone cards for the charity and follow’s AT&T’s announced donation of 30,000 prepaid cards this past summer.
Over the past two years, AT&T has donated more than $4 million worth of prepaid phone cards to help support U.S. military members and their families. These donations include direct distributions to troops serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Europe.
This holiday shopping season, AT&T’s 16,000 retail store employees will help heighten awareness of the CPFS effort by wearing buttons encouraging holiday shoppers to “ask me about Cell Phones for Soldiers.” The employees will provide information regarding the charity and accept donations of old wireless phones from anyone who wants to donate, regardless if he or she is an AT&T customer.
Individuals can also make financial contributions to CPFS as a gift for a family member or friend by going to www.att.com/holidayconnect. There, AT&T and CPFS are providing a secure link for making a donation and printing or e-mailing a free holiday card. The card can be used to notify someone that a donation has been made in his or her name to help support military families this holiday season.
CPFS was established by two Norwell, Mass., teenagers — Brittany Bergquist, 16, and her brother Robbie Bergquist, 15. The teens continue to collect and recycle used wireless phones and, with the proceeds, purchase prepaid phone cards for military families. Since the Bergquists founded the program in April 2004, they have raised more than $1 million and have sent more than 400,000 phone cards to troops.
“So many people will be in malls and stores doing holiday shopping during the next few weeks,” said CPFS co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “While they are out, we hope they will take a moment to drop off a used phone at an AT&T store and help us raise the funds to keep our troops connected with their families.”
“The simple act of recycling a mobile phone will make so much difference in our efforts to help military personnel make a free phone call home to hear the voices of their loved ones,” said co-founder Robbie Bergquist.
“Wireless phones are popular holiday gifts, so there will be many people coming into our stores,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T’s wireless unit. “Now, shoppers can take the extra step when they purchase a phone by dropping off their old phone for Cell Phones for Soldiers. AT&T is proud to be associated with this fine charity and these outstanding young people who are doing so much to support our troops.”
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED TO CPFS FOUNDERS
Recognizing that Brittany and Robbie Bergquist — and their family — have contributed so much of their free time to supporting this worthy effort at their own expense, AT&T has also announced that it is awarding four-year college scholarships, in the amount of up to $100,000 each, to the two teenagers.
“We want to recognize Brittany’s and Robbie’s outstanding community spirit,” said Laura Sanford, president, AT&T Foundation. “Their efforts serve as an inspiration and reminder to all of us that, in our own way, we can all make a difference. Today, AT&T wants to do its part to make a difference for this family by providing these teens with an educational opportunity.”
The scholarships will be applied to the Bergquists’ universities of choice.
SUPPORTING MILITARY PERSONNEL
For more than 85 years, AT&T has remained dedicated to supporting active military personnel, their families and veterans through charitable contributions, sponsorships, the hiring of military veterans and maintaining policies that support reservists when called to duty.
Since 2000, AT&T has donated nearly $8 million in free prepaid phone cards to military members and has provided nearly $6 million in grants that support military members and related nonprofit organizations. This year alone, the company has provided more than $450,000 in prepaid cards to troops stationed overseas. The company also has built 70 calling centers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan that help keep military members in touch with their families.
Additional information on these and other initiatives, including a list of AT&T retail locations serving as drop-off sites for CPFS, is available at www.att.com/troopsupport.
This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.