April 19, 2010

Teen Not-For-Profit DoSomething.org has teamed up with Sprint to encourage teens to stop Texting & Driving via Thumb Wars campaign; PSA stars Joel McHale and Ken Jeong

New York, NY (April 19, 2010)–With car crashes being the leading killer of teens in the US, it’s impossible to ignore the issue of texting & driving any longer. DoSomething.org and Sprint, through the Sprint Foundation, announced the launch of a campaign this week to combat this growing issue. “Thumbs Wars: Teens vs. Texting & Driving,” empowers teens to join the fight, get their friends involved, and report back on how they’re taking a stand against texting & driving!

The “Battle of the Bands” campaign encourages teens nationwide to submit videos to dosomething.org featuring their own musical performances and a testimonial about why music education matters to them.

The campaign launches today and will run through the summer. During that time, teens can visit ThumbWars.org where they can learn how to help increase awareness about this important issue. On the site, teens can also order “thumb socks,” to prevent them from texting & driving and enter a bumper sticker design contest to spread further awareness.

Funny men Joel McHale and Ken Jeong, co-stars from NBC’s hit series “Community,” star in the PSA, where they start a thumb war and encourage teens to join the fight against texting & driving. You can view the PSA at ThumbWars.org.

“Texting & Driving is one of those issues that everyone knows is a problem, but few are actively doing something to stop it,” says Aria Finger, CMO at DoSomething.org, “We wanted to come up with a fun way for teens to get involved on this issue that would still make a real impact and put a stop to this dangerous practice.”

“In 2005 Sprint started a great nationwide program - Focus on Driving – with educators and law enforcement to educate young drivers on the importance of attentive driving,” said Debby Ballard, director of community relations for Sprint. “Five years later as texting and other wireless activities have become a daily part of our lives, Sprint is proud to join DoSomething.org in this critical next step to get more teens engaged on the benefits of safe driving habits.”

Teens are encouraged to use thumb socks to spread awareness for the campaign through a variety of ways including giving them to their friends, keeping them in their car as a reminder, hosting a Thumb War tournament around the cause, or updating their Facebook profile with a photo of them wearing the thumb socks!

For more information on how teens are taking action, visit ThumbWars.org or DoSomething.org.

About DoSomething.org
DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, DoSomething.org is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, DoSomething.org inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action. Plug in at www.DoSomething.org.

About the Sprint Foundation
Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has provided more than $110 million to community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on those supporting K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.