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Katrina: Cingular Wireless Establishes "Cingular Cares" Initiative

Allows Customers to Contribute via Text Messaging and Stores

"Our hearts have been touched by devastation left by Hurricane Katrina," said Cingular Wireless president and CEO Stan Sigman (pictured), as Cingular Wireless yesterday announced a multi-pronged approach to raising millions of dollars to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and to assist its own employees who have been affected by the disaster.

Among the efforts by Cingular:

  • Establishment of the Cingular Cares Initiative
    The program will provide immediate relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina and will also establish a sustainable fund for providing assistance for future natural disasters. Cingular Cares will be a multi-million dollar effort funded through its employees, with a focus on providing assistance to its employees and others affected by disasters.
  • Text Messaging Campaign
    Through the SMS capability on its handsets and PDA's, many Cingular customers are being contacted and asked if they would be interested in making a contribution to the American Red Cross' hurricane relief efforts.
  • In-Store Collections
    Beginning today, Cingular's more than 2,300 stores nationwide will serve as collection points for donations to the American Red Cross. The stories will be able to accept cash, checks, credit cards or debit cards.

 "By establishing the Cingular Cares, we hope to create a lasting resource to provide aid to those in need for many years to come. Cingular's focus is to help all individuals in this tragedy recover from this disaster as quickly as possible," Sigman said.

As part of its immediate outreach, Cingular Cares will focus its relief efforts on the more than 5,000 employees living in the impacted states. Employees will be asked to donate from their paychecks on an ongoing or one time basis. Cingular will match employee contributions up to $1 million.

Cingular will also allow customers to contribute to the relief effort through the use of text messaging. All Cingular Wireless subscribers will receive a free text message asking if they would like to donate $1.99. Customers will be prompted to reply "yes" if they would like to give. The donation will be added to their bill, and the American Red Cross will receive all donations.

In addition, customers will be able to donate to the American Red Cross at any of Cingular's more than 2,300 company-owned stores and kiosks located in the country.

"We have had a number of our own employees affected by this disaster and we have significant efforts underway to assist them," said Sigman. "We hope the combined contributions or our customers and our employees -- leveraged by our scale and technology -- will bring on-going help to the victims of Katrina."

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WBT News Desk brings you all the latest and greatest news from the world of wireless business and technology, including breaking news, technical articles and feature stories written by the world's leading experts of mBusiness.

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