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Coastal Bank dialing up Operation Phone Home

POSTED: November 4, 2011 12:47 p.m.

The Coastal Bank has launched a community-wide initiative to raise money for the USO’s Operation Phone Home, which provides pre-paid phone cards to deployed military personnel to call loved ones while away from their families this holiday season.

The Coastal Bank will lead a fundraising campaign for USO Operation Phone Home through Nov. 23.

“It is our hope to put at least one phone card in the hands of every soldier in our area that is deployed during the holidays,” said Tom Wiley, chairman, president and CEO of The Coastal Bank. “We are so grateful for their selfless sacrifice and service to our nation and this campaign is a way for us to express our thanks to our brave troops.”

Members of the public are invited to join The Coastal Bank and the USO in connecting deployed soldiers from the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry to their loved ones during the holidays. A $5 donation with a personalized message will provide a soldier with a phone card to call home.

Cards will be given to deployed members of the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Naval Reserve in December.

Anyone donating $5 or more to The Coastal Bank’s USO Operation Phone Home initiative will be entered into a drawing to win a free year of free Chick-fil-A (one free sandwich a week for one year). Two winners will be announced at the conclusion of the campaign in November.

Members of the public can purchase a card online at www.phonehomesav.com or visit any of following Coastal Bank locations to make a donation to USO Operation Phone Home:

• Johnson Square - 18 West Bryan St.

• Stephenson Avenue - 412 Stephenson Ave.

• Pooler - 501 West Highway 80

• Godley Station - 140 Towne Center Blvd.

• Rincon - 5799 Highway 21 South

• Hinesville - 101 West Hendry St.

 In 2010, The Coastal Bank raised enough money to provide 140,000 minutes of talk time to local troops during the holiday season or 1,400 phone cards total.

“Through our combined efforts and our extended reach with even more community sponsors this year, our goal is to exceed last year’s campaign,” said Mitchell Bush, president of USO of Georgia - Savannah. “With the help of Savannah’s generous spirit, we know we can reach that goal.”

Established in 2003, USO Operation Phone Home delivers prepaid international phone cards to deployed service members free of charge. As one of the most requested items from deployed service members, the prepaid international phone cards continue to be popular with service men and women.

The phone cards are distributed through USO centers both overseas and in the U.S., where they are handed out to service members or are delivered directly to military units.

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