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AT&T and Cell Phones for Soldiers Surpass First-Year Goal, Raising Over $2 Million to Support U.S. Troops with Free Phone Cards


Recycling Program That Sends Phone Cards to U.S. Troops Has Helped Recycle More Than a Million Wireless Phones, Surpassing Initial $1.4 Million Goal

AT&T’s Recycling Support to Continue Via 2,000-Plus Company Stores and Volunteer Efforts

Recycle wireless phones and help connect U.S. military families with free phone cards. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and military charity Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS) have been connecting those dots since July 2007 — by recycling cell phones in more than 2,000 AT&T stores across 1,100 U.S. cities. And, as Independence Day approaches, the company and the charity are celebrating that CPFS has now raised more than $2 million — including recycling proceeds and financial and in-kind donations — since the two joined forces.

To celebrate the one-year milestone, AT&T is now pledging another year of recycling support for the charity — in all company-owned stores.

CPFS collects and recycles wireless phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for U.S. military members and their families. The first-year results of the program have surpassed the 2007 goal of raising $1.4 million, enough to provide a free 20-minute phone card for all troops stationed in Iraq at that time.

Phones recycled through AT&T stores, community drives and online tools have added volume to the broader efforts of the CPFS recycling program, which has now collected more than a million total wireless phones since July 2007 — including 90,000 phones collected via AT&T channels in just the past three months.

This builds on the environmental challenge issued in April 2008, when AT&T pledged to help the charity recycle 1.8 million phones by April 2009 and expanded its support beyond company stores, to also engage a network of more than 300,000 AT&T volunteers, The AT&T Pioneers. Through community-based donation drives, volunteers have already collected more than 10,000 additional wireless phones in the just past few months.

“As we approach one of the most patriotic holidays of the year,” said Paul Roth, president of Marketing and Sales for AT&T’s wireless unit, “we’re focused on helping to keep military families connected. Our work with Cell Phones for Soldiers is one way we’re doing that, and anyone can join us by dropping a used cell phone in our stores or by using the free resources available online. We know that we can make a difference because we’ve already seen it happen: Our weekly in-store recycling averages are three times what they were in 2007 and 17 times more than the same time in 2006.”

AT&T is also supporting CPFS by accepting recycled phones via sponsored events like the Vans Warped Tour 2008, a popular music festival making more than 40 stops across the U.S. this summer, and the AT&T National, in Bethesda, Md., where CPFS recycling mailer bags will be available to golf fans attending the tournament.

“When we first sent an e-mail to AT&T more than a year and a half ago, we never dreamed the company’s response would lead to so much more support for military families, ” said CPFS co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “AT&T has helped us reach more people with our mission — through more recycling locations, more phone cards for the troops, more public awareness for our cause, and now, new corporate partners who have noticed us and come on board to help. We are so grateful to AT&T for all of this, and we are excited to continue our recycling mission with them for another year. It means that more military families will be able to stay in touch. And that means a whole lot to us at Cell Phones for Soldiers.”

CPFS estimates that — thanks to the proceeds from recycling efforts, financial and in-kind contributions, enhanced visibility, and new, large-scale partnerships — it has sent roughly 200,000 free phone cards to military members since last May, when AT&T first announced its support and the two organizations began working together to build awareness for the cause.


For those interested in joining the cause to help connect military families with free phone cards, AT&T and CPFS offer the following consumer tips:

* Donate Phones or Funds to CPFS: Any AT&T company-owned store serves as a donation drop-off site for recycling phones for CPFS. For patriots who would rather ship phones in, free postage-paid shipping labels are available through A free greeting card is also offered here to supporters who donate phones or funds to CPFS.
* Start a Donation Drive: To support community groups and help individuals launch and conduct their own donation drives, AT&T and CPFS provide a free online “starter kit,” at The tool includes environmental tips, planning tools, camera-ready artwork for recycling bins and other relevant materials.


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