Telus is trying to give where it lives.
Telus Community Ambassadors clubs are comprised of Telus retirees, employees and their family and friends and involve themselves in charitable works within the community.
Glen Husband, president of the central Island community ambassadors club and retired Telus employee, said in the 35 years he was with the company – he’s been retired for 10 years – there was always a charity running.
“Since Telus took over … they’ve really gotten involved in charity using the motto, ‘We give where we live,’” said Husband. “Wherever the clubs are, they have a Telus presence in the community and we try and support charities within that community.”
The club supports the Salvation Army, the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society and also takes part in a number of endeavours, such as Kits for Kids, which sees 250 backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children, and between 200 to 400 comfort kits with hygiene supplies and clothing for the needy.
They also provide lap blankets and Christmas gifts to the elderly with no family at Malaspina Gardens care residence.
The central Island ambassadors club has a base of about 350 retirees, who also try to assist other charities around Nanaimo that are looking for volunteers.
“By volunteering, [Telus] gives the volunteers, for 50 hours, they get $200 to the charity of their choice and if we do 200 hours, $400 to the charity of our choice,” Husband said. “In the fall we run a campaign called the Charitable Giving campaign and Telus matches all of our donations up to $10,000.”
The Nanaimo club also hosts two free dinners a year at the Nanaimo Salvation Army’s New Hope Centre, before Christmas and after Easter, with comfort kits provided as well.
The Telus Community Ambassadors club provides the food and serves the meal, while the Salvation Army does the cooking.
Husband would like to challenge other companies to do the same.
“This is a fabulous organization and they really need the help to feed the needy,” said Husband. “It’s not just homeless on the streets; these are people that are in dire straits.”
There are 23 ambassador clubs across the country, with 11 situated in British Columbia.