Friday, December 28, 2007

AT&T and USO Launch Text Message Donation Program Supporting Military Families on New Year's Day

DALLAS — AT&T announced a new text messaging program that will support the USO -- and U.S. military families -- with free prepaid phone cards. The program launches at the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Beginning Jan. 1, and running through March 31, 2008, customers can make a $2 donation in support of the USO by text messaging USO to short code 740 from their AT&T wireless devices.

Donations will support the USO Operation Phone Home program, which provides free prepaid phone cards to military members serving active duty away from home so that they may stay in touch with loved ones. After callers send the message USO to short code 740, they will receive a response asking them to confirm their $2 donation by replying YES. After text messaging YES back to the 740 number, callers will receive a message letting them know that the donation is complete.

This text messaging program extends the support that AT&T has provided to the USO for the past 20 years, including contributing tens of millions of dollars in support of Operation USO Care Package, USO Operation Phone Home and USO entertainment tours. AT&T also has assisted the USO through funding regional operations in Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific.

"This texting program is a simple and convenient way to help support the many military families across the country that may be apart this New Year's Day," said Mark Collins, vice president of Consumer Data for AT&T's wireless unit. "At AT&T, we're glad to lend one of our most popular messaging tools to make it easy for folks who want to join us in helping to connect military families during the holidays and all year long."

The new text messaging donation program also builds on the continued support of military members via free prepaid phone cards, compliments of AT&T and the USO: In 2007, AT&T has donated more than 50,000 prepaid phone cards, valued at more than $450,000, for distribution to military personnel in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Europe. With the help of the USO, the phone cards were distributed for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day and the November and December holidays.

For more than 66 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, DRS Technologies, Inc. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO.

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings.

This is an excellent way to show support for our nation's troops. AT&T and the USO have worked together for decades and this program is a fine example of what can be accomplished. Those who don't have AT&T cell phones can still make a donation at AT&T's Web site, att.com.

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