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Contribution funds needed school supplies, books, whiteboards

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, March 12, 2010 – U.S. Cellular's Customer Care Center in Cedar Rapids decided to take the company's commitment to schools a step further and help local teachers erase some classroom needs. The center recently donated more than $4,000 to fund 10 classroom projects in several schools throughout Iowa.

The Customer Care Center associates selected several classroom projects that had been submitted by public school teachers to, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help classrooms in need.

U.S. Cellular has made a commitment to invest more than $4.5 million in schools in 2009 and 2010 through its Calling All Communities and Calling All Teachers campaigns. Last year, the company's Calling All Teachers campaign funded more than 2,000 classroom projects across the country, totaling $1.1 million, through The campaign returns again this fall.

An additional $2 million is going to schools through Calling All Communities. Each year, the 10 schools that receive the most community votes receive $100,000 each to use as they choose.

"Everyone at the Cedar Rapids Customer Care Center is excited to continue our company's commitment by providing support directly to local classrooms and students," said Matt Sampson, director of the Customer Care Center. "One of the great things about is that you receive thank you notes from the children and teachers who are directly impacted by the gift. There is no better feeling than making a difference in the lives of children."

U.S. Cellular operates five Customer Care Centers across the United States, and each location chose to give to Together, the centers have funneled more than $20,000 into classrooms across the country.

"Over the past year, we've experienced a wonderful partnership between us and U.S. Cellular," said Charles Best, founder of "We were blown away by the success of the Calling All Teachers campaign and, once again, we are inspired to see these associates also choose to help students in need. We are truly grateful for their generosity."

Iowa teachers received resources that range from DVD players and books to ink cartridges and whiteboards, and most items are already being used in classrooms.

The Customer Care Center provided funding for:

  • Two portable DVD players for basic math and reading skills.
  • Various school supplies (pencils, markers, pens, tape, a pencil sharpener and foam balls) for math students.
  • Four copies of 11 audio books that focus on phonics skills and three color-coded baskets to assist students with reading ability.
  • A handbook, map, compass and American Red Cross first aid and safety handbook for a social studies class.
  • Five printer ink cartridges for a music class.
  • Four bean bags and four story pillows for a reading class.
  • Thirty whiteboards and four colors of dry erase markers for chemistry students.
  • Sixty binders, 60 pocketed divider sets, 60 pencil cases and 60 packs of filler paper for a college and career preparation class.
  • Three compound microscopes for science students.
  • Fifty-six novels for a reading class.

Founded in 2000, 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, individuals from all walks of life have helped 1.8 million students.

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® Tour and the touch-screen LG Tritan and HTC Touch Pro 2, which offer e-mail and Web access. U.S. Cellular believes in the power of the community and has made a commitment to invest more than $4.5 million in teachers and schools during 2009 and 2010. Based in Chicago, the company is the nation's sixth-largest wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company visit one of its retail stores or You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.