Accomplishing the Extraordinary Through Volunteer Service

Accomplishing the Extraordinary Through Volunteer Service

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 12:05pm


By: Tony Stamper, AVP, Network Operations based out of Chicago, Illinois. Tony is also the Chapter President of the AT&T Illinois Veterans, an independent organization of AT&T employees and retirees dedicated to serving the veteran/military community.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week – a week dedicated to honoring the everyday people who accomplish the extraordinary through volunteer service and who motivate others to follow their lead. Each year, I dedicate my time to serving our nation’s active service members and veterans through a host of programs and opportunities. I am proud to recognize the importance of giving back to my community and my country, and I hope my work will inspire others to do the same.

This year, I was privileged to be one of the over 4,000 AT&T employees to receive a President’s Volunteer Service Award. This is my first recognition through this award, though volunteering and giving my time to others has long been a core value of mine. I am a military veteran and take great honor in having served our country. I feel a sense of duty to recognize the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces have made.  I have been involved with the AT&T Veterans for the last seven years, and I am currently the Chapter President of the Illinois AT&T Veterans. The AT&T Veterans is an independent organization of AT&T employees and retirees dedicated to serving the veteran and military community.  Over the past year, I have been thrilled to work with the active duty and veteran members in our community through events which honor and celebrate their service.

The Illinois Chapter hosts several events each year. Early in 2013, we held a barbeque and Bingo Bash for residents at the James Lovell VA Hospital, bringing a rare, home-cooked meal and fun and games to nearly 60 active duty and veteran individuals.  Shortly after that event, we hosted our 30th anniversary celebration at the AT&T Mobility store on Michigan Avenue.  We honored AT&T employees, friends and family that had served in the military from the Civil War through the War in Afghanistan. It was truly a memorable event.

A very special event happened this Thanksgiving. We teamed up with the VFW and the American Legion in hosting a meal for nearly 250 active duty Navy recruits. In addition to providing them with a delicious meal, the AT&T mobility team also supplied smartphones so that service members could connect with their friends and family via telephone and through Facetime – allowing them to not only speak with, but also see those they loved – especially mom – on a day when many miss their loved ones the most.  I could go on and on talking about the many activities I have been honored to be a part of through this amazing group of people.   

Volunteering has always been in my blood. I take great pride in having served my country and am honored to be able to serve others who have made that sacrifice.  I am extremely thankful to AT&T for supporting a culture of community service and thrilled to be recognized through the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which encourages others to make a commitment to civic participation and inspires people to make service a central part of their lives.