SaskTel Connecting with Community Challenge helps less fortunate Saskatchewan youth during cold winter months

SaskTel Connecting with Community Challenge helps less fortunate Saskatchewan youth during cold winter months

January 31, 2024

Photo caption: The SaskTel crew delivers donations to Thomson Community School in Regina (from L-R): Vice Principal J. Filson, Principal Janelle Wagner, and SaskTel's Fawn Redwood, Kristin Wolfe, Amy Richardson and Delaine Cadore

SaskTel Connecting with Community Challenge helps less fortunate Saskatchewan youth during cold winter months

For years, the SaskTel Aboriginal Employees Network (SAEN) group has collected thousands of items to help less fortunate children across Saskatchewan obtain vital winter clothing items to keep them warm throughout the province’s coldest season.

This year, SaskTel and the SaskTel Pioneers partnered with SAEN to expand these efforts province-wide by making it the focus of the 2023/24 SaskTel Connecting with Community Challenge.

By joining forces, the groups were able to donate $19,800 and almost 2,000 winter clothing items to 14 schools across the province. Monetary donations were provided to schools in the form of cheques to purchase specific items for students in need.

“SaskTel employees once again stepped up to the challenge making this a truly province wide event,” said Amy Richardson, SaskTel HR Manager – Strategic Workforce Planning. “We had all the SaskTel Stores serve as collection points, along with many employees in Warehouses and other buildings throughout the province. Many of these folks will also be delivering items to their local school. The SaskTel Pioneers also really came up big to help coordinate things.”

Annually, SaskTel and its employees engage in the Connecting with Community Challenge and donate to an organization in-need. For example, in 2022 all funds raised went directly to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) of Saskatchewan to help support displaced Ukrainians.

“The Connecting with Community challenge truly is an example of us all coming together to support a common cause,” Amy said. “This year, we were all so pleased to get to work with SAEN on their wonderful initiative that they have been delivering on for years.”

The show of warmth was appreciated by the schools.

“Many of our students experience socio-economic challenges,” said Wayne Dahlgren, Principal of Albert Community School in Regina. “The cost of living and ensuring that their kids have all that they need are costs that exceed the capabilities of many of our families. Without generosity like yours, I am unsure what a school year would look like for many of our families. You are appreciated! Our community is grateful for you all.”

Janelle Wagner, Principal at Regina’s Thomson Community School, echoed the sentiment.

“It is heartening to witness the strength of our community coming together to support one another, especially during these challenging times,” Janelle said. “Your generosity has not only provided essential winter wear but has also sent a powerful message to our students that they are valued and cared for by their community.”

“The warmth that your donation brings extends far beyond the physical comfort of the clothing itself. It fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity among our students, showing them that they are part of a community that cares about their well-being,” she added.

Fawn Redwood, SaskTel Indigenous Engagement Manager and member of the SaskTel Aboriginal Employees Network (SAEN) was happy to see how far the initiative has grown.

“Combining our SAEN winter clothing drive with the Connecting with Community Challenge to bring warmth to our youth in each of our districts was a great idea,” Fawn said. “We are so very thankful for all the help from the SaskTel Stores, Pioneers, and SAEN members, HR Department, and other employees across the districts contributing their time in collecting items, sorting, and now delivering them to the schools.”

“So many people have contributed in many ways, and I am very grateful to all of them. This clothing drive has been a great success!” she added.

This year, the drive provided donations for schools in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Yorkton, Estevan, Weyburn, Prince Albert, Melfort, La Ronge, North Battleford as well as Saskatoon and Regina.

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