June 30, 2015 FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Family-owned Bigelow Tea Company, a proud and longstanding supporter of the United Service Organizations (USO), has become an official sponsor of this non-profit organization that supports the U.S. military community worldwide by committing to donate a minimum of 350,000 tea bags annually.  The tea bags will be used to support the USO’s ongoing mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families.
 
This commitment ensures the continuation of Bigelow’s already existing Tea for the Troops program, launched by third generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow in 2009, that to date has donated more than 4 million tea bags to U.S. service personnel.
 
 The company first partnered with the USO when Cindi Bigelow reached out to high school friend Jeff Hill, now the USO’s Regional Vice President for the U.S., to develop a path for distributing 100% American grown tea, grown at the company’s Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, to troops as a heartfelt way of saying “thank you” for the huge sacrifices they make. 
 
         
Wanting to do more, Bigelow Tea became a financial sponsor of the USO’s 2015 Warrior Week that recently took place, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in association with the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia Inc.
 
This invaluable program brings together physical, therapeutic and recreational organizations that empower wounded, ill and injured troops with a renewed sense of adventure by providing opportunities to participate in activities from adaptive water skiing and kayaking, to deep sea fishing, horseback riding, surfing, racquetball and tennis.
 
In an additional show of support, Cindi Bigelow
and Bigelow Tea Project Manager Tim Richmond,
an Iraq war veteran, cycled alongside service men
and women in Warrior Week’s Ride 2 Recovery
Memorial Challenge that culminated in Virginia
Beach. Cindi and Tim participated in similar
rides twice before and were so moved by the
experience, they had to do it again.
 
“It is such a moving experience, and an honor, to ride along with our veterans. We read about them, we see them on TV and in the airports. Of course we appreciate what they do but to be surrounded by them gives me such an immensely greater appreciation for their sacrifices,” said Cindi Bigelow. “Not a single soldier had one word of complaint. Just listening to them makes you truly realize the magnitude of what these heroes selflessly do to protect our country.  It is why it is so important to give back.
 
 “I must have cried a dozen times when I walked away from these conversations. Not with pity but with tremendous admiration for them,” she continued.
 
 And, she adds, “At Bigelow Tea, whose company mission it is to enrich life’s everyday moments by infusing passion into all we do, we are grateful to our service men and women, to Jeff Hill and the USO for allowing us to be even a small piece of everything they do to improve the lives of our beautiful troops.”
 


About Bigelow Tea Company
 
Based in Fairfield, CT, and 100% family-owned, the Bigelow Tea Company pioneered the specialty tea category 70 years ago with its first creation, “Constant Comment”® Tea.  Bigelow takes pride in its heritage and successful growth from a one-product, entrepreneurial venture into America’s leading specialty tea company that produces 1.7 billion tea bags annually in more than 130 flavors.
 
About the USO      
 
The USO lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide, providing a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. The USO also provides critical support to those who need it most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. USO programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
 
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For more information, contact:
Elaine Gavoli
Communications Manager
203.330.2530
[email protected]