T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation Joined with Employees to Give Back to Communities, the Environment and America’s Youth in 2019

February 28, 2020

Last year the Un-carrier reached new heights in its corporate social responsibility efforts, increasing employee volunteering and, together with the T-Mobile Foundation, putting $15M toward empowering youth, protecting the environment, fighting hunger and more

T-Mobile’s Un-carrier Revolution has always been about making people its highest priority, a commitment that came through loud and clear in its 2019 philanthropic, volunteer and environmental efforts. Following the lead of T-Mobile employees who are always looking for new ways to give back in their communities, T-Mobile launched a number of new giving and volunteer programs over the past three years to support and supercharge their passion for doing good. Now, with its final 2019 program of the year complete (Changemaker Challenge!), it’s time to take a look at last year’s impact.

Showing Up and Giving Back
Last year T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation contributed $15 million to programs and organizations dedicated to empowering youth, protecting the environment, fighting hunger and helping communities recover from disasters, which adds up to the company’s largest single-year charitable contribution to date. T-Mobile employees stepped up, too, volunteering more hours than ever before to the local organizations they’re most passionate about.

  • Employees contributed $2.1 million to more than 9,000 different organizations in the US and Puerto Rico — a 16% increase over last year and the second year in a row of double-digit growth in employee giving.
  • Employees clocked an astounding 76,000 hours of volunteering — up 28% from last year!
  • Through the Regional Grant Program, employees distributed $1 million to 120 nonprofits in their local communities. Funded by the T-Mobile Foundation, Regional Grants give employees the opportunity to tackle pressing issues where they live and work. Beneficiaries include food banks, homeless shelters, schools and more.
  • The T-Mobile Foundation offered 96 Huddle Up Volunteer Grants, valued at $480,000 total. Huddle Up Grants help youth through employee-driven volunteering projects. 

Last year T-Mobile also gave customers and fans more opportunities to get in on the giving. November’s #GivingOnUs campaign aimed to engage the public in T-Mobile’s partnership with the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America. Thanks to social-media engagement from customers, fans and employees, T-Mobile helped provide five million meals to hungry families across the US. In addition, employees hosted more than 120 volunteer events at local foodbanks across the country. And in August, T-Mobile made a $1 million donation to Feeding America as a result of sales from CEO John Legere’s #SlowCookerSunday cookbook.

Taking Big Steps Toward a Smaller Footprint
Back in 2018, T-Mobile was the first (and only) major US telecom to sign RE100, the international pledge to use 100% renewable energy — an ambitious commitment considering the Un-carrier plans to reach this goal by 2021. T-Mobile took big steps toward that goal throughout 2019. It opened its second wind farm, the Solomon Forks Wind Project, in northwest Kansas, comprising 105 turbines generating some 276 MW of clean energy, and signed deals for five additional wind and solar projects, which will bring the company to 95% of its RE100 goal once they come online.

To celebrate Earth Day 2019, T-Mobile held its second-annual #TreeMobile campaign, this time extending to a three-month initiative encouraging fans and followers to get outside, enjoy nature and post about it on social media. For every #TreeMobile tweet during the campaign, T-Mobile donated trees to The Nature Conservancy. In the end, across multiple activations, including a nature-themed scavenger hunt on the T-Mobile Tuesday App, T-Mobile helped The Nature Conservancy plant more than 300,000 trees.

And for the second year in a row, T-Mobile earned the highest scores on Green America’s Wireless Scorecard, which ranks telecoms on clean energy use and reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. T-Mobile was also recognized as the only major US telecom to have its carbon-reduction goals approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative

Being Inspired by America’s Youth
T-Mobile has long supported youth-development organizations and programs that provide access to the tools young people need to be successful. For instance, in 2018 the T-Mobile Foundation introduced the Changemaker Challenge, a nationwide search for young people with big ideas for how to change the world for good. And in 2019, the Foundation once again partnered with Ashoka and T-Mobile employee volunteers to launch the second-annual competition, which received 30% more applications than the year prior, for a whopping 428 total. Some of the inspiring submissions included a video game that explores social situations from the eyes of an autistic protagonist, a social platform for victims of gun violence to share their stories and a coalition to reduce the carbon footprint of schools.

Generation T is another of T-Mobile’s youth-centric initiatives. In partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America and After-School All-Stars, Generation T connects young people with T-Mobile professionals to introduce them to potential careers in tech and wireless through immersive experiences outside the classroom. In 2019, T-Mobile hosted more than 300 Generation T events, engaging more than 4,500 youth and 3,000 T-Mobile employees across the country.

T-Mobile also continued narrowing the “homework gap” faced by lower-income students without reliable internet service or computing devices to use in their after-school efforts. In 2019, the Un-Carrier’s EmpowerED program worked with schools to deliver discounted devices and 4G LTE service plans to more than 100,000 students across the US and provided free internet access to students and their households.

Helping Victims of Natural Disasters Recover Faster, Together
When the unthinkable happens and disaster throws a community into chaos, staying connected with loved ones is a priority. In 2019, T-Mobile worked hard to be a reliable presence on the ground during trying times. The Un-carrier deployed a cross-company Response Action Team to five natural disasters across the US and responded to major storms, fires and earthquakes, helping communities across America recover their networks as quickly as possible.

T-Mobile also spent several months preparing for hurricane season by testing network backup systems and working with the National Weather Service to monitor potential storm activity and plan quick responses in coordination with local and national command centers. Thanks to this preparation, T-Mobile was able to deploy rapid response teams to storm-stricken communities when they needed it most, and its powerful cellular network stood strong during Hurricanes Barry on the Gulf Coast and Dorian in the Atlantic and Eastern Seaboard.

In the aftermath of the Houston floods, the Dayton Tornado and the Tick and Campfires in California, T-Mobile crews were among the first to respond, showing up with cellphones, charging stations, fresh water, food, personal essentials and even livestock feed for the entire community. In fall of 2019, California’s new wildfire-prevention strategy preemptively shut down electricity for millions of people. In advance of the shutoffs, T-Mobile deployed generators across affected areas, which minimized service interruptions. Meanwhile, teams on the ground brought charging stations, WiFi and other essentials to folks in need.

The Work Is Never Done
What a year it was! 2019 marked a new peak for T-Mobile’s achievements in social and environmental responsibility, demonstrating the Un-carrier’s continued commitment to greater community involvement and game-changing sustainability initiatives. As 2020 begins, T-Mobile’s community and employees are already rolling up their sleeves to make a difference. And while we’ve accomplished a lot in the past three years, we’re just getting started! As we drive towards closing the merger to become the New T-Mobile, you better believe we’re looking at how we can continue to give back in even bigger and better ways – guided by our employees, a spirit of innovation and a big magenta heart. #WeWontStop