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UScellular’s Community Connections program is providing a virtual way for K-12 groups to raise up to $1,000, whether they need STEM equipment, fresh uniforms or new instruments for the school band. 

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

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.

The announcement comes as area schools welcome students back to in-person classes.

The pandemic derailed many in-person activities in 2020, forcing some groups to find alternative means to secure the funding and support they need for the upcoming school year.

Funding for these activities is usually supplemented through in-person opportunities, such as selling candy bars or washing cars, but with COVID-19 cases rising in some parts of the country, socially distant fundraising options are becoming more practical and safe solutions. 

“(The year) 2020 was a tough year for everyone, especially many academic and athletic groups and organizations who rely on fundraising and donations,” said Latoya Howard, UScellullar store manager in Roanoke Rapids. “We hope that through local and virtual initiatives like Community Connections, we’re able to still support the goals our children and students here in the Roanoke Rapids set for themselves while doing so in a safe and responsible manner.”

Since launching the program in 2015, UScellular has awarded $1.4 million to nearly 3,100 groups nationwide.