SaskTel Employees Show Generosity’s Not Just a Holiday Pastime

SaskTel Employees Show Generosity’s Not Just a Holiday Pastime


SaskTel TelCare helping non-profit organizations deliver on their missions of improving Saskatchewan lives, 365 days a year.

The importance of giving back is engrained in the culture at SaskTel, and few programs show this better than SaskTel TelCare.

Founded in 1950 by a group of employees who came together because they wanted to help others in need, with the support of the management of the day, the decision to create a fund that would enable employees to contribute to local charities was an easy one. Now, over 65 years later, the program continues to foster its tradition of giving back to the community.

Every year SaskTel TelCare selects various charities across Saskatchewan in order to support a one-time initiative, program, or annual campaign. In 2017, TelCare members contributed over $197,000 to caring organizations that share its goal of improving the lives of Saskatchewan people. And, for every employee dollar donated, SaskTel gives an additional $0.50, making each employee’s donation go just that much further. As a result, more than $296,000 will be given to select non-profits this year.

“As a TelCare member, I can say that it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to see our donations at work,” said Darrell Liebrecht, SaskTel’ manager responsible for overseeing the TelCare program. “For many employees, it’s a great way to support their favourite charities year-round.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Saskatchewan Division is one of over 75 organizations across Saskatchewan that received funding this year. TelCare’s donation will support their Healing through Humour program which helps those living with mental illness use the power of humour to break down barriers and build self-esteem. The program teaches the art of comedy writing and stand-up performance and has done over 20 performances across the province since 2010.

Ian Andrew Morrison, who leads the program, spoke about how funding can be unpredictable for small organizations or programs that don’t fit into the usual criteria for grants.

“We offer a smaller program, and with that we do see our funding fluctuate year-to-year,” Morrison explained. “We try to do as much as we can, when we can.”

This year’s donation from TelCare will help fund a variety night early in the New Year featuring current students trying their hand at standup comedy as well as performances from local musicians.

As Morrison describes, Healing through Humour allows students to explore their mental health experience through many different creative avenues. In 2016 for instance, students shot a feature film that was screened at both the Regina International Film Festival and local theatres.

“Together, students learn that there’s nothing to be frightened or nervous about. They learn that they don’t have to hide their mental illness,” said Morrison.

Another recipient is Envision Counselling & Support Centre Inc. which is receiving funding for their Family Support Program that serves the Weyburn and Estevan area. The program provides assistance for families experiencing an overwhelming situation or traumatic event.

Many families rely on the program to help get themselves and their young children to medical and other appointments in and around the community. TelCare’s donation will help cover the costs of 24 new infant and child car seats as well as high chairs that can be used when the need arises.

“This goes right back to our clients,” said Tania Hlohovsky Andrist, Resource Development Coordinator at Envision. “This donation is a great help for our Family Support Workers and the children that they serve.”

Whether it’s volunteering in the community or contributing funds to local programs, SaskTel employees have a long tradition of giving back to Saskatchewan that continued strong again this year. A full list of the 2017 TelCare recipients can be found alongside SaskTel’s news release here.

Registered non-profit agencies interested in gaining assistance from TelCare are encouraged to apply through the fund’s website. For more information on the requirements or how to apply, please visit SaskTel TelCare.



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