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Wireless Subscribers Pledge More Than $190,000 to American Red Cross Through Text 2HELP(TM) Program

December 3, 2008

Ongoing Text Messaging Campaign Already Most Successful Non-Profit Mobile Text Fundraiser

WASHINGTON and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Red Cross, VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media, a division of VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), and The Wireless Foundation announced today that U.S. wireless subscribers pledged more than $190,000 since September to help the victims of disasters like Hurricane Gustav and Ike through a unique Text 2HELP(TM) program, making it the wireless industry’s most successful charitable, non-profit mobile text fundraiser ever. Text 2HELP donations, which go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country. Subscribers of participating wireless carriers can donate $5 up to five times simply by texting “GIVE” to 24357 (2HELP). The charges for these donations appear on the subscriber’s monthly bill, or are debited from prepaid account balances. Standard text messaging rates may apply.

Due to the success of the Text 2HELP program and the continued critical need for donations following a busy year of disasters — including widespread tornadoes, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season with Dolly, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike — VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media division, the Wireless Foundation and the Red Cross extended the Text 2HELP program until December, 31, two months past the original end date.

“Mobile messaging is having a huge impact on today’s society and the Text 2HELP campaign is an excellent example of how text messaging can be used to enrich people’s lives and fulfill charitable organizations’ need to find a new class of donors and newer, more intuitive methods of facilitating contributions,” said Michael Campbell, Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales and Marketing, for VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media division. “We are proud to be part of this effort and leverage our technology and services to power this mobile giving channel, by giving ordinary citizens the opportunity to make donations through a secure and easy-to-use medium.”

The American Red Cross is asking for the continued support of generous donors who can help disaster victims by donating to the Campaign for Disaster Relief, which seeks to raise $100 million this year. As of November 20, more than $65 million was raised. However, due to the cost of responding to the great number of disasters in 2008, donations are still urgently needed. Text 2HELP provides another channel donors can use to help their neighbors.

In response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike alone, the Red Cross opened more than 800 shelters, served more than 14 million meals and snacks, deployed more than 21,000 volunteers and provided tens of thousands of health and mental health contacts to people in need.

“Throughout history, the support of the American people has enabled the Red Cross to provide relief, whether it was through collecting donations by passing a hat, or now, by using a cell phone to text message a donation. No gift is too small to help,” said Gail McGovern, American Red Cross President and CEO. “I want to thank VeriSign, the Wireless Foundation, and the wireless industry for providing an easy way for people to change a life.”

Wireless carriers participating in Text 2HELP include AT&T, Alltel, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media, through a partnership with the Wireless Foundation, powers the mobile application and mobile messaging transactions and delivery for the Red Cross Text 2HELP program, a significant donation of time and technology innovation.

“The Wireless Foundation is pleased to partner with the Red Cross, wireless carriers and VeriSign to provide Americans with a new way to support disaster victims,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association and President of The Wireless Foundation. “People already know how valuable their wireless phones can be in emergencies. Now, by sending a simple text message, they can use them to help the Red Cross provide food and shelter to others when it’s most needed.”

The Text 2HELP program was initially created to aid Hurricane Katrina relief assistance, and is initiated whenever a disaster occurs and a Red Cross assessment determines its relief efforts will require a substantial level of support. During the Red Cross response to disasters, including the recent hurricanes, the Text 2HELP program was promoted across many channels to help provide donors with an easy way to support those in need. Both presidential campaigns, the National Football League, the CMO Council, the Boston Red Sox and other organizations spotlighted Text 2HELP as a channel for Red Cross donations. The Red Cross also promoted the program across many social media platforms, including Twitter, the Red Cross blog, Redcrosschat.org, and by creating a Text 2HELP Widget for social media users to display on their sites.

About the American Red Cross

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This Fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disasters. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-RED CROSS or mailing your donation, with the designation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C.20013.

About VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media

VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media is a division of VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Through this business unit, VeriSign provides global application services that reliably delivers short-messages (SMS), multimedia messages (MMS), and mobile content across any wireless operator and mobile device throughout the world. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisign.com.

About The Wireless Foundation

The Wireless Foundation is a non-profit organization that was formed by the member companies of CTIA-The Wireless Association(R) in 1991. The Foundation develops and promotes programs that use wireless technology to make American communities safer. www.wirelessfoundation.org

Forward-Looking Statement

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in VeriSign’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

SOURCE American Red Cross


Source: newswire



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