"You've Got... Help" AOL Celebrates Company's 25th Anniversary with "Monster Help" Day
2,500 AOL Volunteers Perform 20,000 Community Hours in Global Service Initiative
New York, NY - May 20, 2010 - AOL is kicking off its 25th anniversary celebration with a global volunteer effort personifying the company's mission of being genuinely helpful. The employee-inspired concept, called "Monster Help," in reference to one of AOL's popular new logo treatments and the expansive scope of the unprecedented global effort in which AOL employees will donate thousands of hours to causes they've selected in areas where they live and work. The "monster" day of service on Thursday, May 20, will include more than 40 projects in 18 communities worldwide, empowering employees with rewarding opportunities to mark the company's 25th anniversary and underscoring AOL's longstanding commitment to being a useful and meaningful part of peoples' lives.
"AOL got its start 25 years ago and became a household name by helping people get online and connect with communities. Today, helping people is the center point of our brand, and we believe that investing in our local communities with our time, energy and resources is important," said AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. "The AOL team created the idea of Monster Help Day with the goal of celebrating AOL's birthday by helping their own neighborhoods and communities. It speaks volumes about the people who work at AOL and the degree to which they embody our mission and how they see things through. It's just the right sentiment we want to bring to the next 25 years."
AOL was founded on May 24, 1985 and now reaches a U.S. audience of more than 100 million unique visitors per month and more than 250 million unique visitors globally, according to comScore Unified March 2010 data. Working side by side with their colleagues – from Bangalore to Boston – AOL employees will team up with local community groups and local government organizations to plant trees, serve meals, visit the elderly, support disaster relief, mentor students and much more.
"At AOL, we believe everything we do should be about serving people, from the content we create to the products we provide to helping neighbors in this community," explained long-time AOLer Holly Hawkins, who is donating her time to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) as part of the Monster Help Day. "AOL has an amazing history, and it's great to do something for the community that has always welcomed AOL. The Monster Help idea originated from employees within the organization and the entire company is rallying behind it," added Hawkins, who serves as Director, Consumer Policy and Child Safety, AOL.
"As is often the case with nonprofit organizations, our mission is huge and our resources don't always keep up with the work that needs to be done," said American Horticultural Society Executive Director Tom Underwood. "We are so very appreciative of our AOL volunteers – they are critical to our success, helping us leverage our resources and doing much more than would otherwise be possible."
"Northern Virginia Family Service is proud to have the support of AOL for their day of service. Each year, we rely on thousands of volunteer hours to help address the critical needs of vulnerable children and families in our community. Our work and the lives of our clients are enriched by each individual and company that contributes their time to our cause," said Mary Agee, President and CEO of NVFS, one of many organizations benefiting from AOL anniversary initiatives.
Monster Help community activities on May 20 include:
- In Baltimore: Partnering with the City of Baltimore and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to help with city beautification and community garden programs, planting trees and weeding;
- In Bangalore, India: Helping the Sri Rakum School for the Blind and the Refuge Foundation with local community projects to benefit visually challenged, orphaned and underprivileged children, as well as volunteering with the Mathur Foundation, Omashram, the Prerana Foundation, the Vathsalya Charitable Trust and Kutumba;
- In Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Calif.: Volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to help clean, sort and stock the facility, and assemble food packages to serve hundreds of seniors in Los Angeles County with food assistance;
- In Boston: Volunteering at the YWCA Cambridge, the largest residential facility for women in the city who are in need, helping with their annual landscaping project as well as indoor painting;
- In Chicago: Helping Chicago Cares and the St. Columbanus Food Pantry in the heart of Chicago's South Side to sort and organize food donations and create packages to be distributed to hungry families;
- In Denver: Working on site to perform facility improvement projects for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, a national leader in the integration of housing, health care and support services for the homeless;
- In Detroit: Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County to help build, clean and landscape a house for a local family in need;
- In Dublin: Joining the Camphill Communities of Ireland, part of an international charitable trust working with people with intellectual disabilities and other special needs to complete farming tasks, prepare land for cultivation and work on building small structures;
- In Dulles and Manassas, Va.: Volunteering across the region with various projects for organizations including American Cancer Society, American Horticultural Society, Central Fairfax Services, City of Hyattsville, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), Earth Sangha, Food and Friends, Habitat for Humanity, Loudoun County Parks and Recreation, Reston Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C., SERVE – a program of NVFS, THEARC, Town of Herndon Parks & Recreation, The Washington Home & Community Hospices, YMCA Capital View and YMCA Fairfax County Reston;
- In Lancaster, Pa.: Supporting the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation through clean up, gardening and playground equipment maintenance at local parks;
- In London: Refreshing, cleaning and painting group homes for Centrepoint, a charity dedicated to giving homeless young people a future;
- In Mountain View, Calif.: Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley, organizing hands-on learning kits for Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT), which offers teachers access to hands-on teaching materials and training on how to use them, and cleaning and beautifying a local Ronald McDonald House;
- In New York: Community projects across the five boroughs, helping organizations including the American Red Cross in Greater New York, Dress for Success, Housing Works, New York Cares, New York Restoration Project, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Yorkville Common Pantry;
- In San Francisco: Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco to help with its Neighborhood Revitalization Program as well as helping at the San Francisco Food Bank, preparing food for distribution to soup kitchens, food pantries and after-school programs.
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL's business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL's owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL's consumer offerings.
Alysia Lew, 212-652-6376
Amy Gross, 646-805-2037