The United Service Organizations and America Online Launch 'Operation USO Cares'
WASHINGTON & DULLES, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 23, 2002 AOL and Network for Good Support 'Operation USO Care Package' and Help People Make Online Contributions Toward Care Packages for Troops
The United Service Organizations (USO) and America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the launch of "Operation USO Cares," an ongoing joint project enabling Americans to send their well wishes and support to thousands of U.S. service men and women around the globe.
Through "Operation USO Cares," the American public can now e-mail letters of support to troops. The USO and AOL will team together to print the letters and deliver them to service men and women around the world. In addition, people can send personal greetings and make financial contributions toward care packages that are being delivered to troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom as part of "Operation USO Care Package." "Operation USO Care Package" is sponsored by the USO World Headquarters and administered by the USO of Metropolitan Washington (USO-Metro). Online contributions are being hosted by AOL and Network for Good, a nonprofit organization connecting people to charities via the Internet.
For decades, Americans have been sending well wishes to service personnel deployed from home and around the world. During Desert Storm, hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to "Any Service Member" were delivered in bulk to units everywhere through the military mail system. Due to the threat of anthrax following September 11, the Department of Defense eliminated this tradition of delivering home baked goods, children's hand made greeting cards, or letters of support to the military in this manner. "Operation USO Care Package" enables individuals to continue showing their support through personal messages and care packages for America's men and women in uniform supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Through "Operation USO Cares," the USO is now working with AOL to ensure all of the "Dear Service Member" letters can reach troops across the world.
AOL members can e-mail letters to the service men and women overseas and learn more about "Operation USO Care Package" and how they can make a donation by going to AOL Keyword: Write the Troops
. Other Web users can write to the troops by sending an e-mail to WritetheTroops@aol.com
or can get information on how to make financial contributions by going to www.usometrodc.org.
"These care packages and letters go such a long way in bringing comfort and support to our U.S. troops," said Elaine Rogers, USO Metropolitan Washington President. "This program is possible because of the support from corporations and individuals across the country. We appreciate America Online's support of our initiatives and for helping millions of Americans resume their letter-writing efforts."
"During times of conflict, as well as during the holidays, Americans have a wonderful way of uniting in support of our service men and women overseas. 'Operation USO Cares' is especially meaningful for Americans who would like to do their part to support our troops but don't personally know anyone in the military," said Ted Leonsis, Vice Chairman of America Online. "Through the power of the online medium and AOL's ability to reach millions of people, we are able to extend the goodwill and effectiveness of the USO's efforts."
Through "Operation Care Package," individuals can sponsor a package for a donation of $25. Corporations may contribute to this program's success through financial contributions, items donated in bulk for the care packages, or through implementation of an employee participation program.
The care packages contain an assortment of items that our military have specifically requested, such as prepaid international calling cards, disposable cameras, toiletries, and sunscreen. They also include greetings from the American public, transcribed onto official "Operation USO Care Package" post cards by the USO.
For more information on how to support "Operation USO Care Package" through donations of product or funds, individuals or corporations can call 866-USO-GIVE or visit www.usometrodc.org.
About the USO
For more than 60 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has brought a touch of home to America's military personnel. The USO is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit organization and is not a government agency.
About America Online
America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, Inc. (NYSE:AOL - News). Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.