Sask­Tel con­trib­utes to com­mu­nity through three char­ity wings Matthew

Moose Jaw - - Classifieds -

It has been a ban­ner year for Sask­Tel’s three char­ity wings.

Be­tween the Sask­Tel Pi­o­neers, Sask­Tel TelCare and Sask­Tel En­vi­roCare, the groups do­nated more than $10,000 to lo­cal char­i­ties and ini­tia­tives. “Sask­Tel has al­ways been char­i­ta­ble,” said Kris­tian Sjoberg, pres­i­dent of Moose Jaw’s branch of the Sask­Tel Pi­o­neers. “We do a lot of dona­tions ev­ery year, but this year we tried to max­i­mize our dona­tions around the city and tried to keep ev­ery­thing within the city.” The Sask­Tel Pi­o­neers have been around since 1947 and is part of the Tele­com Pi­o­neers of Amer­ica -- a net­work of more than 600,000 tele­com em­ploy­ees, rep­re­sent­ing 82 chap­ters, that has been around for more than 100 years. “Any phone com­pany, any­where in North Amer­ica, all of their peo­ple within the phone com­pany are part of the Tele­com Pi­o­neers. So it’s an in­ter­con­nected char­ity wing within all phone com­pa­nies,” said Sjoberg. “Ev­ery em­ployee do­nates $5 off of ev­ery pay­cheque into a pool and that get dis­trib­uted from our Regina head­quar­ters. All of that money gets divvied out to the dif­fer­ent clubs.” This year the Pi­o­neers do­nated $1,000 to the Moose Jaw Food Bank and $2,000 from an ed­u­ca­tion bud­get that went to the Moose Jaw Pub­lic Li­brary. The Pi­o­neers also do­nated $500 to the Moose Jaw Gamer’s As­so­ci­a­tion’s Win­ter GAX Fundraiser.

They also were able to do­nate ap­prox­i­mately $2,000 to pur­chase Christ­mas presents for the el­derly.

“Our project this year was Christ­mas dona­tions for the el­derly in care homes -- peo­ple who don’t have fam­ily or who don’t have any­one to buy them ev­ery­day things,” ex­plained Sjoberg who said they were able to get gifts for 55 peo­ple from a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent care homes.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Sask­Tel Pi­o­neers are also do­nat­ing 1,500 books to the Holy Trin­ity Catholic School Divi­sion and the Prairie South School Divi­sion in Jan­uary to help with their lit­er­acy week cel­e­bra­tions. “We’ve also had some ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives within the last year and also project ini­tia­tives from our head of­fice,” Sjoberg said. “On top of the roughly $4,000 we get a year here, we also had $2,000 that was an ed­u­ca­tion bud­get which we do­nated to the Pub­lic Li­brary for some up­grades. “From that same ed­u­ca­tion bud­get we bought a pal­let of books which were given to the pub­lic school board and the Holy Trin­ity School Board. We’re split­ting them.”

The Pi­o­neers will have a sort­ing day to or­ga­nize the books they re­ceived. The books are brand new from pub­lish­ers that are sold at ex­treme dis­counts to schools.

“They sell them us at about 95 per cent off. So we get this hard­cover book for $2 and we get thou­sands of them,” Sjoberg said. “I have about 1,500 books to go through and there’s prob­a­bly 30 dif­fer­ent ti­tles. They’re all brand new, hard­cover books that we’ll do­nate to the school boards to hand out dur­ing lit­er­acy week in Jan­uary.”

The Pi­o­neers isn’t the only char­ity wing for Sask­Tel.

“The Pi­o­neers is the main one, where we get most of our dona­tions of money. We also have a wing within Sask­Tel called TelCare. On top of the $5 I give to Pi­o­neers ev­ery month I can do­nate as much as I want on my pay­cheque to TelCare,” Sjoberg said. “If I do­nate $10, the com­pany will match 50 per cent. And then each club, each city, gets the amount of money that the peo­ple in their area have do­nated to do­nate back to a reg­is­tered char­ity.”

This year TelCare do­nated $2,500 lo­cally in Moose Jaw, with Sask­Tel’s cor­po­rate head of­fice con­tribut­ing an ad­di­tional $1,250. TelCare do­nated $2,500 to the Cana­dian Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion, $499.50 to both the River­side Mis­sion and Hunger in Moose Jaw and $250 to the Moose Jaw Hu­mane So­ci­ety.

In­ter­nally, there is also the En­vi­roCare com­mit­tee which fo­cuses on en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives.

This year ap­prox­i­mately 25 peo­ple from Sask­Tel En­vi­roCare took part in their Acts of Kind­ness Day in the Wakamow Val­ley.

“We were in Wakamow over the sum­mer putting down wood chips over 200 me­tres of the Trans-Canada Trail to fin­ish up some main­te­nance there. We helped them build a deck,” Sjoberg said. They do­nated $500 to Wakamow Val­ley Park after their bath­room was van­dal­ized and also do­nated $500 to the Bur­row­ing Owl Cen­tre.

“That is purely self-funded by bot­tles and cans from within Sask­Tel. We’re ba­si­cally get­ting a cou­ple hun­dred a month from that,” said Sjoberg of the En­vi­roCare com­mit­tee which has been around for five years.

“That’s one where I wish we could get all of the Crowns in­volved,” Sjoberg added. “I was on the com­mit­tee for En­vi­roCare and I was there when I was founded, so I think it’s our dream to have all of the Crowns in­volved. Right now they all have their own ini­tia­tives, but it would be great for all Crowns to have their own En­vi­roCare teams... so we can trade ideas.”

Be­yond the pride Sask­Tel em­ploy­ees feel in giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, Sjoberg is proud of the ex­am­ple their set­ting.

“I’ve got a lit­tle five year old and show­ing him how to do th­ese things is amaz­ing,” Sjoberg said. “Last Thanks­giv­ing we were driv­ing around and ev­ery­thing was closed and he asked why the fire­men were out on Thanks­giv­ing and I said that they had to work. He asked if we could do some­thing nice for the fire­men. My five year old asked me that. We went and bought them some donuts. It was some­thing lit­tle, but to me it meant the world. It meant he’s ac­tu­ally see­ing what I’m do­ing and try­ing to live his life the same way.”

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