Get Inspired by our 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipients

Get Inspired by our 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipients

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:05pm


By: Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer

Charlene Lake, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer - See more at:

Our employees are amazing! A record number of them – 4,031 to be exact – have earned the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award. I humbly congratulate all of them for their tireless dedication to making our communities stronger.

This is a prominent award we all should seek to attain. It honors Americans who, by their commitment and example, inspire others to volunteer in their communities. Honorees have dedicated a minimum of 100 hours, and in many cases, more than 500 hours a year, to their communities.

For well over 130 years, AT&T employees have generously donated time and talent to support their fellow citizens in need. When we hire employees, we seek to find people with this kind of passion for improving the world around us. It tells us they understand that businesses can’t succeed without strong communities, and it’s a demonstration of our corporate values. 

The thousands of AT&T employees receiving this award represent communities in every corner of the country.  Each one has a story; each one has made impact. Here are just a few examples:

  • Karen Breakfield, an administrative assistant in Charlotte, NC, has contributed more than 8,000 hours of community service since she started at AT&T more than three decades ago.  She has given her time assisting those in need in her community as well as mentoring women, young and old, throughout the company to help them grow personally and professionally. One of her favorite memories is serving Thanksgiving dinner to families in her community: “We were serving Thanksgiving dinner to homeless families, when this little girl stood to thank everyone,” said Karen. “She wanted to remind us of how special the meal was because they had no other place to go.”
  • Tony Stamper, assistant vice president of network services in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is an Army veteran who is determined not to let other veterans, or their families, go without. Tony logged more than 150 volunteer hours in 2013, doing everything from helping fellow veterans find jobs to caring for their families during deployment. “My biggest fear is society becoming numb to the sacrifices that our servicemen and women, and their families, have made to our country,” said Tony.  “I don’t want them to be forgotten.”
  • Angela Johnson, network manager in Middletown, Va., said volunteerism started for her when she joined the Girl Scouts at age 12. She continues her volunteer efforts today, in and outside of the office. Angela played a key role in getting her coworkers to collectively join AT&T’s Do One Thing initiative, a voluntary companywide effort that encourages employees to commit to measurable actions that are good for themselves, their communities and/or the company. She also helps feed more than 80 families a month through her church’s food pantry ministry. “Whatever our walk of life is, we may hit hard times from point A to point B,” said Angela. “And we will need someone’s help. I want to be that help.”

The number of AT&T employees receiving The President’s Volunteer Service Award has more than doubled in the past two years, representing more than 1.2 million volunteer hours. These honorees, combined with thousands of other AT&T employee volunteers as well as AT&T retirees, contributed more than 5.3 million hours of service last year to their communities across the country. The official financial equivalent for those hours is worth more than $118 million based on the industry standard from Independent Sector. That’s impressive and we’re proud of it. But those hours are worth more than gold to the millions of our fellow citizens – the children, the veterans, the homeless – who have felt the compassion of these employees’ service. That’s what is really impressive.  

These honorees mentor students to be successful in school, they teach citizens the importance of safety and the perils of texting while driving, they pick up trash out of respect for our environment, and they volunteer at their places of worship, youth groups and animal shelters. Doing so is part of our company values. And it’s part of the reason I love working for this company and alongside these great employees. 

Let’s thank Karen, Tony and Angela, and the 4,028 other AT&T employees receiving this award, by pledging ourselves to step up to more service to our world. They have set a wonderful example for us through their dedication to building healthy, connected and thriving communities. Our workforce, our business and the communities we serve are all stronger because of them.