More than $53,200 donated to 72 local charities with Bell Aliant and Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers annual Christmas campaign

ST. JOHN'S, NL, Dec. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant and the Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers kicked off the holiday season today by donating more than $53,200 to 72 organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador. The donations are part of Bell Aliant's community program that focuses on mental health initiatives and other grassroots programs across the Province.

Each year, employees and retirees gather with community partners to celebrate the season and provide support for a variety of programs that help make a difference in the lives for many families in our communities.

"The Christmas donation program has been a tradition for 27 years for Bell Aliant employees and our Pioneer volunteers," said Elizabeth Clift, Director, Customer Care, Bell Aliant. "Seeing the impact of the contributions and volunteer hours in the local community really reminds us of the true meaning of the season."

In these challenging economic times, many community groups are grateful for the consistent support they receive from Bell Aliant and the Pioneers. "We are thankful for the contribution that Bell Aliant provides, not only to our association, but to the many programs that are delivered all around our region and can use a helping hand this time of year," said Eg Walters, General Manager, Community Food Sharing Association.

Since 1985, Bell Aliant and the Bell Aliant Pioneers have been assisting organizations in the province carry out their work at Christmas with cash contributions, volunteer efforts and donations of Christmas stockings. This year the Pioneers have collected 223 stockings filled with gifts from Bell Aliant employees. These stockings are distributed by community based organizations to families in need across the Province.

Representatives from a number of charities were on hand to receive their donations and were joined by Bell Aliant employees, retirees and their families.

Donations were made to the following programs and organizations:

Community Food Sharing Association
Mary Queen of the World
Eric & Mackay Tenant Association
REAL Program
Corner Brook Food Bank
Dorset Collegiate
Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Centre

Pioneers Christmas Stocking Program

Copperbelt Club
Chapter sponsored
Salvation Army Happy Tree
Green Bay Food Bank
Indian River Academy Breakfast Program
Baie Verte Ministerial Association

Centara Council
Chapter sponsored
Gander Academy Breakfast Program  
Cara House
Gander and Area Food Bank
Gander Military Family Resource Centre

Club sponsored
Keep Kiddies Warm Project
The Open Door Community Youth Centre
Heritage Memorial Park
Salvation Army Happy Tree
Lakeshore Healing Garden
Gander Academy Playground
Cara House
Scholarship

Metro Club
Chapter sponsored
Jimmy Pratt Memorial Soup Kitchen
Canadian Red Cross

Club sponsored
Choices for Youth
Rainbow Riders
Canadian Red Cross
Senior Resources Centre
Stella Burry

Tricon Club
Chapter sponsored
KIXX Country Toy Tree
Salvation Army Bay Roberts
St. Vincent de Paul- Harbour Grace
Tricon Special Olympics

Clarenville Club
Chapter sponsored
Autism Society
Clarenville Food Bank
Bonavista Food Bank
The Alzheimer's Society
ALS Society of NL

Northwest Club
Chapter sponsored
Corner Brook Firefighters Toy Drive
Transition House
Xavier House
Salvation Army Kettle Drive

Club sponsored
Bay of Islands Search and Rescue
Western Regional Hospital Foundation
Bay of Islands SPCA
Salvation Ginger Bread House
Forget me not campaign

Exploits Club
Chapter sponsored
Grand Falls-Windsor, Bishop's Falls Food Bank
Salvation Army
Youth 2000 Centre Corporation
Status of Women Central
Sprucewood Academy

Club sponsored
Project at South and Central Health Foundation
VOCM Happy Tree

Fort Pepperrell Club
Chapter sponsored
Boys and Girls Club
Big Brothers & Sisters
Marguerite's Place Sewing Club

Club sponsored
The Pottle Centre
Canadian Cancer Association (Wig Program)
Wreaths Across Canada                                            
Bridges To Hope
St. Vincent de Paul (MQW)
Chaulker Place Association
Gathering Place                                                         
Salvation Army
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Froud Ave Association
Seniors Resource Centre
Home From the Sea Campaign
Family in Need

Lake Melville
Chapter sponsored
Lake Melville Ministerial Association
Labrador Friendship Centre Food Bank
Kids Eat Smart
Libra House

Club sponsored
Stella Maris/Good Shepherd Parish

Chapter 105
Ronald McDonald House
Candlelighters Association
Community Food Sharing Association
Brother T.I. Murphy Centre
Daffodil House

About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP™ services. Through its operating entities, Bell Aliant serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services, including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience.

About the Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers
The Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers is the largest corporate-based volunteer organization in Atlantic Canada. The Pioneers work to move those in need from adversity to achievement. The membership is comprised of close to 9,000 current and former Bell Aliant employees and its predecessor companies. The Bell Aliant Pioneers have been working together for over a hundred years now. The positive impact they have had on the lives of the people they serve is immeasurable.

The work of the Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers contributes to Bell Aliant's overall community investment program.

The Bell Aliant Pioneer Volunteers are part of TelecomPioneers, the largest industry-based volunteer organization in the world. The TelecomPioneers boast nearly 620,000 men and women throughout Canada and the United States who work together to make their communities better places in which to live and work.

SOURCE: BELL ALIANT INC.

For further information:

Rebecca Bell
Community Relations Manager
709-689-8900
rebecca.bell@bellaliant.ca

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BELL ALIANT INC.

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