Pioneers educational programs address the needs of young people, with an emphasis on literacy, personal development, technological skills, mentoring and other education-related support that promote learning, academic, career and economic success and inclusiveness for all – including several programs with specifically designed components for those who are disadvantaged or experience disabilities. Volunteer work in this area includes collecting, reading and donating books to children, helping improve reading comprehension skills using Pioneers’ innovative, online program Power Up To Read, providing schools, after school centers and libraries with computers, collecting, assembling and donating backpacks of school supplies for needy students and painting maps of the United States and Canada on playgrounds.
Pioneers care for people with disabilities and for senior citizens. Life enrichment projects include building wheelchair ramps, building custom tricycles known as Hot Trikes and teaching seniors how to use computers and cellphones.
Enriching the lives of the visually impaired is a Pioneer legacy. Using recycled telephone parts, the Pioneers invented Beeping Easter Eggs, using the same technology they created Beep Baseball (Softball) Pioneers. They build the eggs, which are then used in Easter Egg hunts for visually impaired children around North America. Now the blind and visually impaired can participate in America’s greatest sport.
Pioneers reach out help our neighbors in need in times of crisis from stocking food pantries to responding when natural disasters strike by providing supplies and shelter. The Hug-A-Bears program is a decades old Pioneers project that provides soft, cuddly bears for children who are in traumatic situations. These bears ride along with police and firefighters across the United States and Canada.
Many of the Pioneers’ local projects developed over the past 100 years have been geared toward improving the environment. The environmental and beautification initiatives have included planting trees, bushes and flowers native to the local environment, picking up litter along roads, beaches, and parks, recycling items such as phone books, cell phones and printer cartridges, educating school-aged children on how to reduce, reuse and recycle, and refurbishing and donating used computers. Their efforts led to Telephone Pioneers of America Park in Phoenix, Arizona.
Pioneers’ projects that support servicemen and women, veterans and their families include collecting and recycling used cell phones to purchase prepaid phone cards, collecting and donating supplies (diapers, children’s clothes, school supplies, etc.) for soldier’s families, collecting supplies for comfort kits including toiletries, games, snacks, reading material, phone cards, etc. and sending to those serving overseas, cleaning, painting and landscaping homes for deployed soldiers and/or veterans and cleaning up, beautifying and posting flags at military grave sites.
Organizational Chapters and Structure
The Pioneers’ headquarters were originally located in New York but moved to Denver, Colorado in 1991. Currently there are five groups within the organization, with Pioneers headquarters in Denver:
These groups are composed of Pioneers chapters located throughout the United States and Canada. Many of these chapters additionally have Pioneers councils and clubs.
Pioneer Board Face To Face
Front row: Cary Parsons, Finance Director, Denver; Jan Eaves-AT&T Texas Pride Life Member Rep; Sherry Daughtry, Legacy West BD; Gloria Pazel AT&T BD; Paul Redline, New Vision BD; Darrell Liebrecht, Canadian Pioneers BD; Nouvelle Helmick, New Vision BD; Elaine Housley, New Outlook BD; Fred Salomon, New Outlook BD; Joe Holbert, AT&T BD; Judy McCallum-Lee, Secretary of Texas Pride Chapter, Charlene Hill, Executive Director, Denver; Donna Evans, New Vision BD; Catina Edmond, President, Ft. Worth Council; Amber McKinney, President, Dallas Council; Jennifer Tiner, President, Northeast Council
Back row: Shirley Sanz, John Staggs, Kris Wells, John Merlino (all ATT BD)
Missing: Allan Miller, Canadian Pioneers BD