IOWA TEACHERS GET SHARE OF $1.1 MILLION IN U.S. CELLULAR'S "CALLING ALL TEACHERS" CAMPAIGN
DES MOINES, Iowa, May 14, 2009 – U.S. Cellular picked up the tab for more than 130 classroom requests submitted by teachers throughout Iowa as part of its 2009 Calling All Teachers campaign. Associates from the company began visiting schools during Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8 to recognize public school teachers who received a share of the company's $1.1 million donation to help erase classroom needs.
U.S. Cellular funded more than 2,000 projects nationwide, including everything from textbooks and pencils to projectors and easels, through DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit Web site that links donors with educators facing shrinking budgets. Teacher requests funded in Iowa collectively were valued at $77,000. U.S. Cellular associates will continue to visit classrooms this week to personally thank teachers for going above and beyond for their students.
"I am committed to working with the private sector to make sure teachers have all they need to meet students' needs," said Governor Chet Culver. "I want to thank U.S. Cellular for their continued commitment to educating our young people statewide, through their generosity."
When U.S. Cellular launched the campaign three weeks ago it planned to fund $1 million worth of teacher requests through DonorsChoose.org but the response from teachers was beyond expectations. The company decided to increase funding to $1.1 million to cover all of the projects submitted during the campaign in the communities where it does business.
"Our associates did an amazing job of getting the word out, in fact nearly 65 percent of the teachers in Iowa that participated in our campaign were using DonorsChoose for the first time," said Karen Ehlers, vice president of public affairs and communication for U.S. Cellular. "This was an opportunity to support all of the remarkable teachers who believe in something better for their students."
U.S. Cellular has committed to helping schools in 2009-2010 through funding and volunteerism. Earlier this year, the company awarded $1 million to 10 schools across the country through its Calling All Communities campaign. The campaign will kick off again this year on Black Friday, November 27. Last year U.S. Cellular donated more than $290,000 to the United Way and non-profits in Iowa. Associates across all of U.S. Cellular's markets volunteered more than 10,000 hours in 2008.
About U.S. Cellular
The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people's lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones like the BlackBerry® Pearl and Curve, and the touch-screen Samsung Delve, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation's fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit Web site where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and teacher thank-you letters. To date, 88,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $30.3 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through DonorsChoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 1.8 million students.