07/19/09 — AT&T Call Center workers collect 5,700 cans for needy

View Archive

AT&T Call Center workers collect 5,700 cans for needy

By Laura Collins
Published in News on July 19, 2009 2:00 AM

A competitive drive and a desire to give led to local AT&T employees donating more than 5,000 canned goods to United Way of Wayne County.

Employees of the AT&T Call Center on U.S. 117 brought in 5,700 canned goods to donate to the United Way, which will pass them along to the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro.

Tim Tierney, operations manager at the AT&T High Speed Internet Technical Support Center, said bringing in food for the United Way -- and ultimately for the Soup Kitchen -- was a group decision.

"We all feel fortunate that we have jobs and very good jobs," he said. "We want to help people out who are having difficult times because of the economy. We felt that with kids being out for the summer, there would be hard times getting food on the table."

Tierney said the employees used friendly competition to raise all the canned goods. They split into 22 teams and pitted themselves against one another. The result produced more canned goods than they anticipated.

"It was awesome. We set expectations and just absolutely surpassed it ten-fold especially in regards to the effort and quality of stuff," he said. "We didn't want to set out a box and have people drop stuff off. We didn't want people to bring in wax beans that have been in the back of the cupboards since 1972."

Russell Witherspoon, captain of the winning team The Witherspoon Express, said his team brought in about 750 cans.

"We're a very competitive team in all, but what motivates us more so is that we are a giving team. We like to give to people who are in need and we just have big hearts," he said. "We like to make sure that everyone is doing as well as we are."

Margie Greene, captain of rival team Code Greene, said the competition brought out the best in all of them.

"I think what motivated us all here at AT&T is that we're benefiting people that need the help," she said, then added, "That and the fact that we wanted to badly to beat The Witherspoon Express."

In addition to the canned food drive, AT&T also made a corporate donation of $4,000 to United Way, which will go toward the organization's fundraising campaign.