HOOP builds on SaskTel’s strong corporate culture

HOOP builds on SaskTel’s strong corporate culture

They say generosity begins at home. And at SaskTel, that prevailing sentiment has become a way of life, with the company finding its strength firmly rooted in the compassion and selflessness of its people.

Helping Our Own People (HOOP) is proof of that. For nearly 30 years, the organization has made a positive difference in the lives of countless SaskTel employees by helping offset the financial burden of extended health care and illness – expenses not always adequately addressed by existing social programs.

One of the program’s beneficiaries is SaskTel’s Jordan Weatherbee. In late November 2014, Jordan was working on an infrastructure project in Otter Lake, Saskatchewan when he suddenly didn’t feel well. Convinced it was stress and the challenging conditions that came with the job, he paid a visit to his doctor believing it was nothing serious. A few weeks later, his doctor delivered the news: ‘Jordan, you have cancer.’

“It didn’t register at first. It was a complete shock for both me and my wife. We are the proud parents of young children and were living life to the fullest up until that point,” said Jordan, Operations Manager - Service at SaskTel’s Prince Albert office. “My doctor advised us that treatment needed to begin immediately. Still, we weren’t sure what we were going to do or what our next steps might be.”

Thankfully, coworkers told Jordan about HOOP and the tremendous impact the organization – and its people – had on others who faced similar challenges.

Jordan had surgery in January 2015 and began chemotherapy two months later. His sessions were scheduled on three-week cycles at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre. Living in La Ronge at the time, this meant a round trip of almost 800 km to receive treatment.

“I contacted HOOP in early 2015 about my situation, not knowing what the organization could do for me,” he said. “They stepped up almost immediately and helped with my travel expenses to my medical appointments. It was reassuring to know that the company I worked for had people and groups that were committed to my well-being. In turn, this allowed me and my family to focus on my treatment and recovery.”

HOOP is funded by an annual contribution from SaskTel. The organization also receives donations from numerous employee groups and events scheduled around the province. Since its inception in 1991, HOOP has allocated more than $750,000 to assist employees throughout Saskatchewan

Shelley Turner, President of HOOP, says the organization embodies what SaskTel is all about – people who really care about each other.

“Over the years, SaskTel employees have demonstrated how their ideas and actions can improve the lives of their colleagues and peers. I continue to be impressed with their generosity, as they fundraise and make personal donations for the betterment of our people,” said Shelley. “HOOP builds on that giving spirit. I have always viewed the company as a supportive family and I am so proud to be a part of this team.”

SaskTel’s strong corporate culture reaches beyond HOOP. While going through treatment, Jordan received help when bidding on a new role with the company.

“My manager and the Human Resources (HR) team were considerate enough to schedule an interview that fit my schedule. They ensured it didn’t happen while I was in the midst of one of my treatments,” he said. “That meant the world to me. I am thankful for all the help I received from HOOP, HR and Health Services. I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.”

And, like many SaskTel employees, Jordan also believes in paying it forward.

“From Day 1, I knew my financial contributions were helping others. It wasn’t until I had my own difficulties that I realized just how much good they do,” he said. “A simple deduction from my paycheque can do so much for coworkers or a family in need. I am living cancer-free today, which speaks to the impact our support can have on someone’s life.”

SaskTel’s strength has always been its people. Each year, SaskTel employees demonstrate how their efforts – both inside and outside the company – make Saskatchewan a better place for everyone.

Find out more about SaskTel’s long-standing commitment to its people here. Or, click here to find out more about how SaskTel works to actively support local communities in our province.

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