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TRAVELERS AID INTERNATIONAL, AT&T LAUNCH KIDSCALL

 TRAVELERS AID INTERNATIONAL, AT&T LAUNCH KIDSCALL
 CHICAGO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelers Aid International and


AT&T (NYSE: T) today announced the nationwide launch of KidsCall, a program that provides runaway and "throwaway" young people with a free long-distance call to their home communities. KidsCall allows youths up to 23 years old, who have run away from home or been told to leave ("throwaways"), to place a free long-distance telephone call to family or friends in their communities from 45 Travelers Aid offices across the country.
 During a two-year pilot program in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Orange County, Calif., nearly a thousand young people took advantage of the opportunity to make a call. One of the callers was an 18-year-old who had left home in Cleveland and gone to Hollywood because she felt her parents were too strict and were standing in the way of her dreams and ambitions. After several weeks of living in Hollywood, she realized how much she missed her parents and their support. There was no doubt she wanted to return home, but she wasn't willing to admit she had made a mistake in running away.
 Through the free KidsCall program, she was able to re-establish a relationship with her parents and eventually returned home to Cleveland. Follow-up calls by Travelers Aid confirmed that she was home and doing well. "Through KidsCall, Travelers Aid helps runaways reconnect with their home community, just as we've been helping people for the past 150 years," said W. Mark Clark, executive director of Travelers Aid International. "Runaways interested in the program can call 1-800-TOBESAFE to get the address of the closest participating Travelers Aid office."
 AT&T's sponsorship of KidsCall covers the cost of both domestic and international long-distance calls as well as advertising associated with the program. "For some, a free phone call could mean a chance to start over," said John Powell, AT&T sales vice president, consumer services division. "For others, that call could put an end to fear and anxiety about the whereabouts of a loved one."
 Since 1851, Travelers Aid has been helping people who encounter problems while away from home. Each office is staffed with volunteers and trained professionals who reach out to runaways, the distressed, the homeless and emotionally unstable. Travelers Aid also serves the business traveler and tourist, providing airport and travel information.
 TRAVELERS AID INTERNATIONAL (TAI) AT&T KIDSCALL PROGRAM
 Fact Sheet
 The TAI/AT&T KidsCall program offers runaways the opportunity to make a free long-distance telephone call to their home community from a participating Travelers Aid agency. A runaway youth can go to any participating Travelers Aid office to make the call. A pilot program, launched in June 1990 in the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Orange County, Calif., area, resulted in over 750 phone calls by runaway youth.
 Runaways can call 1-800-TOBESAFE to find out the location of the nearest participating Travelers Aid office.
 DEFINITIONS:
 "Runaways" are youth who are away from home at least overnight without parental or caretaker permission.
 "Throwaways" are youth asked by their parents to leave their home.
 RUNAWAY DEMOGRAPHICS:
 An estimated 1.3 million children and youth run away from home every year.
 Runaways are primarily between the ages of 12-18; male/female, all ethnic/regional backgrounds.
 REASONS FOR RUNNING AWAY:
 -- poor communication with parents
 -- existence or fear of abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation
 -- parents placing unreasonable demands or restrictions
 -- disruption within family system (separation, divorce, poverty


and high mobility)
 TAI OFFICES PARTICIPATING IN KIDSCALL: 45 in 26 states.
 ONE OF THE PARTICIPATING TAI OFFICES IS IN DETROIT.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Earnestine Coates of Travelers Aid International 313-962-6740; or Oriano Pagnucci of AT&T, 312-230-4888, or (home) 708-403-9158/
 (T) CO: AT&T; Travelers Aid International ST: Michigan IN: TLS SU:


DH -- DE008 -- 5082 06/30/92 10:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1992
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