On the one-year anniversary of AT&T Cares, a comprehensive and flexible volunteerism program for more than 270,000 employees, AT&T* is celebrating an impactful year with three prestigious national volunteerism awards and recognition for its commitment to education.
“We are very proud to see the extraordinary community service activities that our employees and retirees are engaged in receive national recognition,” said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation. “AT&T Cares builds on the company’s long history of service and volunteerism and the change our employees and retirees create in communities is inspiring.”
So far this year, through the community service impact of its employees and retirees, AT&T has received the following national recognition:
- Most recently in June, AT&T was honored with the 2010 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence from the Points of Light Institute, a national organization dedicated to advancing community service. The award recognizes extraordinary, effective volunteer programs that are helping to improve local communities.
- In March, AT&T received the Ladies’ Home Journal “Do Good” Stamp in recognition of corporations that give back to the community and make a difference with strong employee volunteerism and innovative and results-oriented corporate and philanthropic initiatives.
- In January, AT&T was awarded the 2009 President’s Volunteer Service Award, as a commendation of Americans who contribute significant amounts of time to volunteer activities. AT&T received the award through its partnership with Junior Achievement Worldwide, an official certifying organization for the award, who honors corporations that provide volunteers to teach JA’s educational programs.
All of these honors highlight AT&T’s commitment to high school student success and workforce readiness, and the major role AT&T employees have in its success. Concerned that a third of America’s high school students drop out before graduating, AT&T decided to take action by creating AT&T Aspire, a $100 million philanthropic commitment to improve high school success. As part of AT&T Aspire, the company teamed up with Junior Achievement to launch the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative, a $5.5 million project reaching 100,000 students in five years. Through the Job Shadow Initiative, to date, 17,000 employees in 228 cities have helped reach 48,000 students with career exploration activities that help motivate them to stay in school and achieve meaningful careers. According to a recent independent report evaluating the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative, 88 percent of students felt that participating in Job Shadow made them realize the importance of staying in school.
AT&T Cares encourages employees to get engaged in community service that is meaningful to them and their communities, to create change and to stay engaged. The initiative builds on the company’s 100-year history of giving back through the AT&T Pioneers, one of the nation's largest corporate volunteer organizations, with 325,000 employees and retirees as members. Last year, AT&T employees and retirees, donated more than 8.5 million hours of time, worth more than $176 million**, to community outreach activities.
AT&T Cares also provides employees with a resource to help them pursue their philanthropic passions. By teaming up with YourCause.com, employees are able to create personalized Web pages to raise awareness among their family and friends and increase donations to the causes of their choice. Since September 2009, employees have raised nearly $560,000 through their AT&T YourCause pages, including more than $253,000 for disaster relief-related causes.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, in April 2010, the company held a special AT&T Cares National Volunteer Week Contest. Employees got the chance to present their own nonprofit volunteer project idea, apply for funding dollars to carry out the project and then rally other employees to vote for it. More than 12,000 AT&T employees cast their votes for their favorite employee volunteer project during this special contest. AT&T contributed a total of $40,000 to fund the top six projects, receiving the most employee votes.
In addition to volunteerism, AT&T also supports communities through charitable giving. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation combine more than $2 billion of historic charitable commitment to the communities they serve. In 2009 alone, nearly $160 million was contributed through AT&T corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.