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YouthNoise, StandUp For Kids and Virgin Mobile USA Launch Innovative Alliance to Help At-Risk Youth

Submitted by: Virgin Mobile USA

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jun 26, 2006 – 11:01 AM EST


Artists Panic! At the Disco, Bloc Party, KT Tunstall, Gnarls Barkley, Jewel, James Blunt And Others Support New RE*Generation Initiative By Contributing Special Ringtones, Donating Proceeds to Charity Partners Virgin Mobile USA To Contribute 5% of Profits from Sales of All Virgin Mobile Ringtones, Games and Graphics

Jun. 26 /CSRwire/ - WARREN, NJ - Three organizations devoted to advancing the needs of America's youth have teamed up to make sure all young people have a voice in the issues that matter most to them and their peers. YouthNoise, the first youth-based social network for social change ( http://www.youthnoise.com); StandUp For Kids, the largest all-volunteer national non-profit organization dedicated to going to the streets and making a difference in the lives of at-risk, homeless and street kids (www.standupforkids.org); and Virgin Mobile USA, the nation's leading youth wireless service, have launched a comprehensive alliance enabling teens and young adults - and some popular recording artists - to play a more active role in empowering young people across the country living on the fringes of society.

The RE*Generation is a movement to help the millions of young people across the country who are largely "invisible" to everyday society. Behind The RE*Generation is a pioneering three-way campaign connecting Virgin Mobile's four million customers with non-profit organizations working on the front lines of activism. The RE*Generation is a new U.S.-focused initiative operating under the umbrella of Virgin Unite, the Virgin Group's global charitable arm.

"Our customers are in a unique position to act," said Dan Schulman, chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile USA. "When we talk with our community of 4 million, they tell us they care deeply about social causes and want to help, but don't always know the best way to get personally involved."

"Through this powerful partnership with YouthNoise and StandUp For Kids, we have created easy and tangible ways to help empower our customers through their phones and the Web," added Peter Boyd, vice president of marketing at Virgin Mobile USA. "That's what is so exciting about this initiative."

Giving Youth Four Easy, Tangible Ways to Become Immediate Activists

1. Virgin Mobile will donate 5% of profits from the sales of all Virgin Mobile downloadable content (including ringtones, graphics and applications) to help young people in need.

2. Customers can download ringtones from Panic! At the Disco, Bloc Party, KT Tunstall and other artists who will donate 100% of their own profits to The RE*Generation partners, and Virgin Mobile will donate 100% of its profits from those ringtones, up to $250,000 in 2006. Other participating artists supporting The RE*Generation include Jewel, Gnarls Barkley, and James Blunt.

3. Customers can text to deduct $1 from their balance to donate to StandUp For Kids and YouthNoise. Virgin Mobile will match every $1 donation, up to $250,000 in 2006.

4. Users can make a cash donation via credit card from the Virgin Unite site ( www.virginunite.org).

In addition to downloading ringtones from these partner musicians, the three organizations are simultaneously launching other ways for young people to get involved and give back.

From several Internet sites - including www.youthnoise.com/virginmobileusa, www.standupforkids.org, and "The RE*Generation" link at www.virginmobileusa.com - customers can educate themselves on a wide array of issues, share their points of view and find ways to take action in their communities.

"YouthNoise was created to provide young people across the globe with a 'place' to voice their ideas on issues that matter to them and to take that voice and use it to activate their good will," said YouthNoise CEO Ginger Thomson. "Our partnership with Virgin Mobile enables the voices of our users to be heard not only on the Internet but also by four million others who want to get involved in making a difference."

"We need to find more ways to reach children before they reach the streets," explains Rick Koca, founder and chief executive officer of StandUp For Kids. "This partnership provides the opportunity for many thousands of young adults to learn about homeless and street children and then immediately help make a difference in their lives."

Design a Charm, Win a Trip to Africa!

In another tangible example of the new alliance, the three partners kicked off "The RE*Generation Charm Contest" on June 14. The contest is a way to give young people across the U.S. the chance to design a wireless phone charm, which anyone can attach to their cell phones to demonstrate their commitment to giving all young people a voice.

Those interested are encouraged to design the face of a phone charm that represents The RE*Generation movement, which will reach out to youth on the margins or who are living without a voice in society. The contest winner's design will be brought to life in charms produced and distributed by Virgin Mobile. He or she will also take a once-in-a-lifetime journey - a "Wake Up Trip" to Africa with Virgin Unite to see first-hand how activism is being implemented on a global scale. Four runners-up will receive a "Wake Up Trip" to New Orleans to work on efforts around Hurricane Katrina relief.

Budding designers can log on to www.youthnoise.com/virginmobileusa/charmcontest to submit designs and to access full details. The five-week contest runs from June 14 to July 20. Once a panel of celebrity judges, including Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, has narrowed the field to five finalists, visitors to the Web site will have the chance to view and vote for the overall winner.

Other vehicles and programs for getting involved will be added as The RE*Generation continues its roll-out.

To learn more, visit:

  • http://www.youthnoise.com/virginmobileusa

  • http://www.standupforkids.org

  • http://www.virginmobileusa.com -- click on the link to "The RE*Generation"

    About Virgin Mobile USA, LLC:

    Launched nationally in July of 2002, Virgin Mobile USA, LLC is the nation's first wireless network created for and defined by youth. Virgin Mobile is a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel, which operates one of the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless networks in the United States. The country's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile's four million customers have access to a service portfolio that includes multiple voice pricing options, a full range of handsets and a broad array of messaging, music and mobile content offerings - without long-term contracts. In addition, J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" under its Certified Call Center Program.SM

    Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 25,000 stores, with Top-Up cards available at more than 80,000 locations nationwide. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at http://www.virginmobileusa.com or by calling Virgin Mobile At Your Service (1-888-322-1122).

    About YouthNoise:

    YouthNoise is the first youth-based social network for social change. YouthNoise is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that brings young people ages 16-22 together to form a global network for sharing and converting their ideas into action to improve the world around them. Featuring 100% youth-generated content, http://www.youthnoise.com/virginmobileusa
    has registered more than 113,000 youth from all fifty states and more than 170 countries, and welcomes an average of 500,000 unique visitors per month. YouthNoise is based in San Francisco, CA.

    About StandUp For Kids:

    STANDUP FOR KIDS is the largest all volunteer national non-profit organization dedicated to going to the streets and making a difference in the lives of at-risk, homeless and street kids. Founded in 1990 StandUp For Kids has established more than 32 outreach programs in 17 states.

  • For more information, please contact:

    David Barkoe RLM Public Relations for YouthNoise
    Phone: 212-741-5106, x. 235
    Kathleen Reynolds CooperKatz for Virgin Mobile USA
    Phone: 212-455-8062


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