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TRAVELERS AID INTERNATIONAL AND AT&T LAUNCH KIDSCALL, FREE LONG DISTANCE SERVICE FOR RUNAWAYS

 TRAVELERS AID INTERNATIONAL AND AT&T LAUNCH KIDSCALL,
 FREE LONG DISTANCE SERVICE FOR RUNAWAYS
 MIAMI, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelers Aid International and AT&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. Four Florida Travelers Aid offices will participate in this program. The offices are located in Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.
 During a two-year pilot program in the Los Angeles area 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 come 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 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.
 AT&T provides communications services, equipment and computer systems to consumers, businesses and communications companies around the world.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Julie Spechler, 305-662-6411 (office) or 305-922-3537 (home) or Fernando Figueredo, 305-662-6304 (office) or 305-361-5976 (home), both of AT&T/ CO: AT&T; Travelers Aid International ST: Florida IN: TLS SU:


AW-JB -- FL004 -- 5132 06/30/92 11:12 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1992
Words:482
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