TDS Telecommunications Corp.: Holiday giving spirit fills the air at TDS

13 organizations receive gifts, including 62,631 meals to Second Harvest Foodbank

For more information contact:

Cindy Tomlinson, Associate Manager – PR

TDS Telecommunications Corp.

608-664-4471 / [email protected]

MADISON, Wis. (Dec. 17, 2009) — The spirit of giving is filling the air at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®). This year, giving by the company and its employees (more than 1,100 in Dane County), has surpassed last years’ support – for every organization. There are 13 organizations TDS is supporting this holiday season.

Employees and the company donated thousands of dollars and gifts to help those in need throughout Dane County. From collecting gift items for Toys for Tots, to ringing bells for the Salvation Army and volunteering as Guardian Angels for Porchlight, employees are doing more this year than ever before.

“The outpouring of support from our employees has been nothing short of amazing,” says Andrew Petersen, director of external affairs and communications for TDS. “To surpass last years’ donations is an outstanding accomplishment. This year, as the need in our community keeps growing, so too has our employees commitment to help. Their generosity is simply outstanding.”

In addition to the voluntary support of employees, TDS continues its commitment of providing financial support to an organization selected by its employees. In lieu of hosting a corporate party, TDS asks employees to vote for an agency that should receive a $7,000 financial contribution. This year, employees chose Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Combining the $7,000 cash gift with the more than 700 pounds of food TDS collected during the company’s food drive, TDS is creating 62,631 meals for Second Harvest.

Second Harvest is just one of 13 organizations TDS employees are spreading cheer to this year. Other agencies TDS is supporting include:

* Porchlight — Nearly 100 employees are volunteering as “guardian angels” to help approximately 125 local families and individuals. TDS “guardian angels” are delivering gifts and the fixings for a holiday meal. TDS “guardian angels” also donated nearly 550 pounds of turkey and ham for Thanksgiving meals.

* TDS Giving Tree supports three agencies — Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, Dane County Humane Society, and Independent Living provided client wish lists which were hung on trees throughout TDS. Employees are filling hundreds of wishes of area families, children, and pets; in total, they filled three oversized boxes (4’x4’x4’) with items — enough to fill a couple office cubicles.

* Toys for Tots — Nearly 750 toys and $475 in gift cards were donated for the annual drive to ensure every kid gets a toy for the holidays.

* Salvation Army — Nearly 110 TDS employees and family members are ringing bells at Copps Food Center on Junction Road for the Salvation Army.

* American Red Cross Blood Drive — TDS hosted five blood drives this year, collecting 204 blood donations with the potential to save more than 600 lives. TDS will host its first blood drive of 2010 on Jan. 4.

* Food Pantries — TDS donated calling cards and contributed $1,000 to five area food pantries, including: Verona, Monona, Middleton, Waunakee, and Belleville.

“While TDS employees are busy helping many organizations get ready for the holidays, our employee involvement is not limited to December, it’s a year-round initiative,” Petersen says. “We have a group of dedicated employees coordinating volunteer activities just about every month of the year. It’s part of our corporate culture. It’s how we connect with our customers and communities.”

A quick look at 2009 reveals TDS employees volunteered for numerous projects. Employees answered phones as part of Wisconsin Public Television’s spring auction, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, coordinated blood drives for the American Red Cross, and held collection drives for school supplies and winter coats, hats, mittens.

TDS supports the United Way of Dane County and made financial contributions — totaling more than $115,000 — to area non-profit organizations, including:

* American Red Cross Real Heroes

* Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County

* Lussier Community Center

* Dean Foundation Free Clinics, including the Benevolent Specialists Project Free Clinic in Middleton

* Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

* Madison Children’s Museum Art Cart

For more information, or to invite TDS to join your organization’s efforts, visit