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'Help Our Troops Call Home' this holiday season

AAFES

AAFES

DALLAS -- A recent Harris interactive poll found that only 38 percent of Americans are likely to donate to charity during the holidays, down from 49 percent a year ago.

While charitable support may be dwindling, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service wants to make sure that those able to give this year remember the troops serving downrange with a phone call home.

AAFES' "Help Our Troops Call Home" effort, which allows anyone to leverage deployed military exchange communication platforms on behalf of American troops, makes it possible to send Global Prepaid phone cards to individual servicemembers (designated by the sender) or even "any servicemember" through various charitable partners.

"Holidays are traditionally the strongest time of the year when it comes to supporting the troops and we want to ensure that all Americans are aware of this affordable option," said AAFES' senior enlisted advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. "This is one of the most difficult times of the year to be separated from loved ones and a simple phone call can make all the difference in the world."

To date, 177,432 individual orders for more than 360,000 Military Exchange Global Prepaid phone cards have been processed with 30,000 earmarked for "any servicemember" and distributed via charities such as the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House Foundation, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Soldier & Family Assistance Center and USO.

Anyone can help military families stay in touch by simply logging on to aafes.org or calling 800-527-2345. From there, dads, aunts, neighbors and even civic groups can send any one of three Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards, including a 550-minute denomination card capable of providing more than two hours of call time from Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait to the United States for only $27.50.