By Matthew Liebenberg
Non-profit organizations and breakfast programs at Swift Current schools are benefitting from the generosity of local SaskTel employees.
Cheque presentations to seven organizations from the SaskTel TelCare employee donation program took place at the SaskTel business office in Swift Current, Dec. 12.
Lisa Bowers, the secretary for the Swift Current district of SaskTel TelCare, felt the program is an opportunity for employees to make a difference locally.
“It’s just a great program,” she said. “It’s great to have employees involved with non-profits and we like to contribute, especially to non-profits in the community.”
TelCare is a volunteer organization of SaskTel employees who contribute their donations to the fund through automatic payroll deductions. In addition, SaskTel donates 50 cents to TelCare for every employee dollar.
The donations are organized by district and the TelCare members in each of the nine districts will select the non-profit organizations to support in their communities.
The Swift Current district allocated a total of $6,900 to eight organizations for 2023. This amount was made up of $4,600 in employee contributions and $2,300 in matched funds from SaskTel.
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan received a donation of $125. The seven other organizations in Swift Current each received an allocation of $968. They are Fresh Start, Swift Current Salvation Army, Swift Current SPCA, and the breakfast programs at All Saints Catholic School, École Centennial School, Fairview School and O.M. Irwin School.
Bowers said there is a positive reaction from SaskTel employees when they hear about these donations made by TelCare.
“It really encourages people to want to give more and for new staff that aren’t aware of the program, it’s a great way to encourage them to sign up for it,” she mentioned.
Danielle Carlson served as the TelCare secretary for the Swift Current district during the past 17 years. She got involved with the donation program immediately after she began working at SaskTel.
She noted that employee contributions to the fund fluctuated in recent years, partly due to retirements as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations can help to create more awareness about the impact and benefits of the TelCare program.
“We’re working on trying to get those numbers back up and as the economy strengthens a little bit, we’re trying to get more and more people,” she said. “That’s why these stories are so great. It’s just to get more employees to see the value and more people in the community to see what SaskTel’s doing for the community.”
TelCare was started in 1950 and province-wide just over 600 SaskTel employees contribute regularly to the donation program through payroll deductions.
The TelCare program raised a provincial total of $193,250 in 2022, of which employees donated $128,832 and SaskTel contributed the remaining amount through the 50 per matching donation. Last year’s TelCare program donations benefitted 44 charitable and non-profit organizations in Saskatchewan.