WASHINGTON, Apr 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Virgin Mobile USA announced today that it will extend the very popular “Free I.P.” volunteer program to its continuing title sponsorship of the explosive Monster Ball Featuring Lady Gaga Tour this summer, along with other special events. Introduced last year, “Free I.P.” will give hundreds of lucky fans the chance to get VIP tickets by volunteering time at local homeless youth shelters. Working with Lady Gaga, Virgin Mobile will also enable her fans to donate funds by text message at each show throughout the 33 U.S. cities.
Virgin Mobile established the “Free I.P.” program in 2009 at Virgin Mobile FreeFest as part of The RE*Generation initiative to raise awareness of the continuing problem of homeless youth. Tonight in a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. and during National Volunteer Week, the prepaid wireless carrier will be recognized for its pro-social activity in this area by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In recognition of this award, Dan Schulman, president of Sprint’s prepaid group, which includes Virgin Mobile, said, “Through our various programs, we hope to build awareness of the issue, raise funds and motivate people to get involved, a commitment we have embraced for the last four years. We greatly appreciate this honor, but we know there is so much more to do in order to help turn the homeless youth issue around.”
Schulman also noted the “Free I.P.” program will also be in place when the Virgin Mobile FreeFest returns this year to Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion where the program was first introduced. Thousands of tickets will be set aside for people who volunteer at homeless youth organizations to get a premium experience to one of the summer’s hottest music events.
This year, Virgin Mobile will also take the volunteer program beyond music and extend it into the sports world with the company’s sponsorship of teen tennis star Melanie Oudin. Lucky fans will get the chance to attend the U.S. Open in New York this August by volunteering their time.
“These exciting partnerships enable us to reach millions of people with incentives to volunteer,” added Schulman. “When we conducted ‘FREE I.P.’ as part of FreeFest and Lady Gaga’s earlier tour, we were able to generate more than 30,000 hours of community service, and produce more than 9,000 personal hygiene kits for distribution by homeless youth organizations.”
The National Alliance to End Homelessness will honor Virgin Mobile USA for its significant contributions in the struggle to end youth homelessness. For its leadership and innovation in motivating the public to more actively confront the issue of youth homelessness, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Unite, the Virgin Group’s pro-social initiative, will receive the NAEH 2010 Private Sector Achievement Award.
In 2007, Virgin Mobile partnered with the National Alliance to End Homelessness and other groups to have Congress designate the month of November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Virgin Mobile has introduced several programs over the last four years to make it easy for the public to help young people living on the streets. One program, Txt2Clothe, provided local youth agencies with access to more than 200,000 articles of new clothing. To read more about The RE*Generation, visit http://web.archive.org/web/20121022044153/http://www1.virginmobileusa.com:80/regeneration/.
For further details on the FREE I.P. program for Virgin Mobile Presents The Monster Ball Starring Lady Gaga visit www.ladyvirgin.com.