UScellular provides over $2,500 in sponsorships to programs supporting East Tennessee youth

December 4, 2020

UScellular’s Community Connections program has provided more than $2,500 to youth organizations in East Tennessee in 2020 to help cover expenses for groups who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The Community Connections program provides financial support to various organizations each year, including Little League Baseball teams, marching bands, cheer squads and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).

So far in 2020, UScellular’s Community Connections program has provided $1,000 each to Diamond Legends baseball team, Dogwood Elementary School’s student ambassadors program and a $558 donation to Alliance Fastpitch Softball.

UScellular’s Community Connections program provided $1,000 to the Dogwood Elementary School’s student ambassadors program. Community Connections supports various youth organizations through financial sponsorship.

“Groups like Diamond Legends, Dogwood Elementary School ambassadors and Alliance Fastpitch provide meaningful experiences for youth in our community every day,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for UScellular in East Tennessee. “Many academic and athletic groups and organizations have had to think differently about fundraising this year due to COVID-19. We know by investing in groups like these, we can help ensure that all kids get a fair shot to achieve their goals.”

Community Connections helped Diamond Baseball-Simcox Academy in West Knoxville cover expenses for games, practices and travel. The Alliance Fastpitch travel softball team in Alcoa received funds to help with uniforms and travel expenses.

Dogwood Elementary School’s student ambassador program is using funding from Community Connections to teach students leadership skills, including proper introductions, elevator speeches and job interview skills. The funds support guest speakers, field trips and programs, including “The Great Shake,” where Dogwood Ambassadors showcase their skills in a series of challenges that require them to interact with members of the community to solve real-world problems.

“In our annual Great Shake event, Dogwood Ambassadors put their skills to the test by giving impromptu speeches, engaging in challenging conversations with local business professionals, tying a necktie, setting a proper table, walking the red carpet and much more,” said Hannah Rudder, a fifth-grade teacher and Dogwood Ambassadors coordinator for Dogwood Elementary School. “Our program strives to uncover and develop leadership potential that lies within our students, so they grow to be productive, independent, self-sustaining members of our community.”

Organizations can still sign up for assistance through Dec. 31. Once registered, local non-profit academic and athletic groups representing youth up to 12th grade have 14 days to rally their friends, families and supporters to complete online activities that include taking short surveys, watching videos or following UScellular on its social channels. Each completed activity earns money that goes directly to the organization – up to $1,000 – and the website makes it easy to spread the word on social media.

Organizers can register their group at to start earning sponsorship support online.

Funding for these activities is usually supplemented through in-person fundraising opportunities, such as selling candy bars, washing cars or selling coupon books, but with the ongoing pandemic, these methods may not be possible in today’s environment.

UScellular’s Community Connections program provides a virtual way for K-12 groups to raise up to $1,000, whether they need face masks and cleaning supplies or equipment and uniforms.

Since launching the program in 2015, UScellular has awarded $1.4 million to nearly 3,000 groups nationwide. For more information and to sign up your group, please go to

About UScellular

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. It is ranked #1 in the North Central Region in the J.D. Power 2020 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study – Volume 2. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with UScellular on, and