Values are the driving force at the core of our mission to revolutionize the wireless industry, and we believe the values illustrated by our military and veterans are very much worth celebrating. Last month we announced an extensive military support initiative, but during Military Appreciation Month, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to highlight the huge contribution these folks make to our company.
For a little over four years, T-Mobile's employee Veterans & Allies Network has been a source of support and outreach for military veterans, active duty service members, National Guard and Reservists, their families and the communities T-Mobile serves. With a current membership of over 6,000 veterans and supporters of veteran initiatives, the Veterans and Allies Network creates a space where veterans can come together to find the camaraderie they experienced in the military, and continue acts of service to others with the support of passionate allies.
"The T-Mobile Veterans & Allies Network leads the way in showing recognition and appreciation for T-Mobile veteran employees with the presentation of a challenge coin, a long standing tradition in the military, to a veteran employee by their leadership," explains Tana Avellar, the group's chair since June 2017, but the network's mission doesn't stop at the doors of T-Mobile's sites and stores. "The Veterans & Allies Network's construct allows employees to focus on what's most important to them. Some chapters may focus on the military to civilian transition, while others are more service-oriented, addressing the veteran homeless issue today."
In the past year, this broad scope of outreach has led to T-Mobile employee participation in the 2017 Veteran’s Day Parade in NYC, the Miles for Mills 5K supporting the Travis Mills Foundation, the Green Light a Vet initiative, service projects with The Mission Continues, and organizing coat, blanket and supply drives -- among others.
Our Veterans and Allies Network also educates our organization about the unique skills veterans and active duty military members bring to the table, and the experiences that their families share. "We help champion dialogue and bring awareness to bridging the gap -- translating between military and civilian skills," Avellar says. "That innate leadership, team building, creative thinking and agile mindset is something difficult to replicate. You can teach someone industry-specific skills, but you cannot create the unique experiences of a veteran. These experiences produce invaluable qualities that make a company better; they make teams better."
To this end, T-Mobile Veterans & Allies Network has hosted several FourBlock veteran career transition events on T-Mobile campuses. FourBlock is now T-Mobile's national partner in a mission to widen that impact -- expanding their fantastic program to 20 total cities and making the program accessible everywhere for free when they launch online this fall. You can learn more about our commitment to FourBlock in the T-Mobile Newsroom, and get additional details about our incredible partners who support military members and veterans here: Military and Veterans: Events, Employment & More.
Inspired? Starting today, May 14th, the Un-carrier will donate at least $1 million during the MLB regular season to benefit American veterans. For every tweet or Instagram post with #HatsOff4Heroes, T-Mobile will donate $1 – up to a minimum of $1 million – to Team Rubicon, a non-profit uniting the skills of veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to communities impacted by disasters. We've got all of the important info here: #HatsOff4Heroes. However you decide to celebrate Military Appreciation Month this May, as Avellar points out, "So few have served, and those who have do not typically look for fanfare. Reach out and show your appreciation from a grateful nation (and company)."