At Cellular One, we recognize the importance of supporting the communities we serve. Not only do we rely on them as a business, but so many members of the Cellular One team live in these communities. The markets we serve are where we raise our families, maintain our friendships, and live our lives.
John D. Rockefeller said, "Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty." We believe in this. We believe that because we are fortunate enough to have the ability to make a difference in our communities, we have a responsibility to do so.
Many of our team members, at all levels of the organization, donate their time, talent, and expertise to local charities and various community organizations. As a company, we have focused our efforts in support of individuals and families coping with mental illness. There are so many other charitable causes that capture the public's sympathy and compassion. Mental illness, though, is stigmatized, feared, and misunderstood.
Most of us have a friend or a family member who suffers from a mental illness. Through these experiences, we have learned how great the need is for support, particularly when less than 1/10th of one percent of the $300 billion Americans give to charity each year goes to mental health charities. We have seen the emotional toll that mental illness takes on the person suffering and on their entire family. We have seen the lack of understanding among friends and, sometimes, even family members. We have seen the unwarranted stigma that causes those suffering to feel alone and in abject shame at the time they most need others' support.
It also moves us that some 25% of our nation's military service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with post-traumatic-stress-disorder or other anxiety-related mental illnesses related to their service. They deserve more than our thanks; they deserve our support and our assistance.
To answer this need, Cellular One has committed to help those suffering from mental illness and their families feel a little less alone, a little less invisible, a little less like no one understands and no one cares. We do this by working with local chapters of organizations such as the National Alliance for Mental Illness (www.NAMI.org) and by supporting leaders in the field like Active Minds (www.ActiveMinds.org), which develops student run chapters to provide mental health support and education at colleges and universities across the country.
We also work closely with an affiliated, but independent non-profit foundation, the Family Support Foundation for Mental Illness (www.FSFMI.org). With the establishment of FSFMI in 2008, we have been able to expand our involvement and support of not-for-profit organizations, awareness programs, and mental health services in our communities.