AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced the donation of the second installation of more than 50,000 prepaid phone cards that AT&T will give away in 2007. The total 2007 donation is valued at more than $450,000; and, with the help of the USO, the cards will be distributed to military personnel who are stationed overseas. This donation builds on more than 85 years of AT&T support for U.S. military families and a 20-year partnership with the USO. The company also has provided a $300,000 sponsorship to support USO entertainment tours in 2007.
The latest donation marks 20,000 phone cards donated thus far this year via direct handouts with the USO. This set of 10,000 phone cards will be distributed on overseas military bases and during USO entertainment tours that are slated for the weeks following Father's Day. According to AT&T, this donation is in honor of U.S. military dads, whether they are on active duty or whether they have a son, daughter, or wife who is actively serving.
In the coming weeks, the USO will help AT&T distribute the phone cards to troops throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea and Japan. Each donated phone card will provide 20 minutes of free talk-time from Iraq to the U.S.
"Many military families will be missing Dad this Father's Day," said Carmen Nava, AT&T senior vice president-Distribution. "In salute to U.S. military dads everywhere, we hope this donation will help ease some of the challenges posed by distance, time zones and ongoing military duties ? and bring loved ones closer together."
The donation builds on AT&T's commitment to help keep military families connected: Since January 2006, AT&T has donated nearly 200,000 prepaid phone cards ? valued at nearly $1.8 million ? to U.S. military members and their families. In the past 20 years, AT&T has contributed tens of millions of dollars to the USO in support of Operation USO Care Package, Operation Phone Home® and USO entertainment tours. AT&T also has helped the USO enhance troop morale through funding regional operations in Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific.
Since 1941, the USO has provided morale, welfare and recreation-type programs and services to enhance the quality of life for military personnel and their families around the world. The USO currently operates more than 130 centers, including 10 mobile canteens, and offers free Internet and e-mail access, prepaid phone cards, entertainment and lounge areas, libraries, travel assistance and refreshments. USO entertainment tours bring volunteer celebrities to entertain and lift the morale of troops and to express the gratitude and support of the American people.
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. The company has also built 70 calling centers for military members who are stationed in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan so that they may stay in touch with their families.