DENVER – April 07, 2010 – The Qwest Pioneers, a volunteer organization of current and former employees of Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q), has received seven awards for community service programs it sponsors in nine states.

At the 83rd Annual Meeting of Pioneers, which was held recently in Atlanta, current and retired telecommunications employees from across the U.S. and Canada honored the Qwest Pioneers with the awards, including the prestigious Vice President’s Award for excellence in volunteer community programs.


“I’m proud of the Qwest Pioneers and the numerous benefits they have provided their communities,” said Jim Schmit, the chairman of the board of the national Pioneers and Qwest Idaho President. “They have shown that customer service doesn’t stop when they are away from the workplace.”


These are the awards won by the Qwest Pioneers:

  • Vice President’s Award: Arizona and North Dakota Chapters
    For more than six years, Qwest Pioneers have ensured that fourth and fifth graders learn American geography with tabletop maps. Each map is made of plywood and lights up to show the states and capital cities. The students find lessons easy to follow thanks to the visual and interactive maps.
  • Project Excellence, Education: Colorado Chapter, Foothills Life Member Club
    For “Bundle for Education,” Qwest Pioneers assembled kits with information and materials for teachers and principals to choose for meeting the needs of different grades and learning levels. The club presented kits to 33 schools resulting in their donation of 1,000 Whisper Phone speech aids, personal white boards and 600 “Power Up to Read” books.
  • Project Excellence, Education: Colorado Chapter, Auraria Council
    The sixth annual “Qwest JA in a Day” brought messages of work readiness, entrepreneurship and literacy to five schools, 100 classrooms and more than 2,300 students. More than 165 Qwest Pioneers, Qwest employees, and their families and friends participated in the program that helped fourth graders achieve a 22 percent knowledge gain.
  • &luot;>Project Excellence, Health and Human Services: Oregon Chapter, Pacific View Combined Club; Washington Chapter; and Southern Arizona Chapter
    Food banks are facing increased demands during the economic downturn, with more than 125,000 children in Oregon, Washington and Arizona relying on them. Through “Tri-State Help for the Hungry,” Qwest Pioneers worked to improve food bank operations, including picking up and delivering perishable goods at a moment’s notice. Each chapter also secured a $25,000 grant from the Qwest Foundation to help food banks during the holidays.
  • Project Excellence, Life Enrichment: Minnesota Chapter
    With the “Minnesota Bags Project,” a bag is only a bag until recipients find something inside just for them. Qwest Pioneers assembled Gear Bags of supplies for students, Breakfast Buddy Bags of snacks for youngsters at Ronald McDonald House, Wellness Bags attached to patients’ wheelchairs, Birthday in a Bag will all the fixings and Valentine Bags for nursing home residents. 
  • Project Excellence, Life Enrichment: South Dakota Chapter
    In “Qwest for Play: Vickie Powers Memorial Park,” a park was built to serve Rapid City’s newest and fastest-growing community. Qwest Pioneers secured a $50,000 grant from the Qwest Foundation for the project. Also, 48 Pioneers helped build a fence to enclose a play area, and they made sure 850 other volunteers were fed and refreshed during the five days of construction.
  • Project Excellence, Military: Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon Chapters
    “Support Your Troops” included some 300 Qwest Pioneers across four states that helped support servicemen and women during the holidays. Oregon’s “Comfort Bag” and Nebraska’s “Sparkle of Patriotism” sent gifts and supplies to more than 500 military families stationed overseas. Arizona’s “Support Your Troops” project dispatched more than 800 boxes of troops in Iraq. And in Iowa, Pioneers collected items for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan who are family of Qwest employees.

About the Pioneers

Founded in 1911, Pioneers is a non-profit network of volunteers more than 620,000 volunteers strong committed to serving our communities in the United States, Canada and beyond. As long as there’s a need, no matter how large or small, Pioneers answer the call for help in every way imaginable. For more information about Pioneers, visit their Web site or call 1-800-976-1914.