SaskTel is asking people to donate their old phones and accessories to be recycled with hopes of making a big impact in the lives of the less fortunate. 

SaskTel is encouraging our customers and everyone in Saskatchewan to consider donating their old cell phones or cell phone accessories to their Phones for a Fresh Start program. They take old devices and accessories and recycle them, and the proceeds generated are used to purchase new cell phones and prepaid calling cards which are donated to shelters which people who are escaping domestic violence. Donations also go to the Ministry of Social Services to be distributed to teens who are aging out of long-term foster care and transitioning into adulthood. 

Greg Jacobs, an external communications manager with SaskTel, has seen the program develop over the past decade. 

“The phones and the prepaid cards that that we donate through this program really help the recipients to connect with their loved ones, to explore housing opportunities, education and even employment options,” explained Jacobs. “For those situations where it's a little more difficult if there's violence involved, it's really a lifeline that allows them to connect with emergency services, lawyers, counsellors and anything that they would need to really get a new start on their life.” 

The phones for a fresh start program has been in place since 2009, and since its launch, they've recycled over 135,000 cell phones. Through all that recycling, SaskTel was able to generate funds which donated more than 5000 cell phones to individuals in difficult situations and divert a massive amount of electronic waste from our landfills. 

“We've tried to make donating to the program as easy as possible so you can visit any SaskTel store, and we have a SaskTel store in Swift Current,” stated Jacobs. “All you have to do is drop your old cell phone into the bin. You don't have to fill out any forms or anything like that. You can visit one of our authorized dealers, which we have all over the province including the southwest. For those who might be in a more rural location and for one reason or another, can't make it to one of those facilities, you can just mail it to us completely free of charge through Canada Post.” 

Jacobs urges anyone who's looking to learn more about the program to visit the SaskTel website and encourages people to think about others this holiday season. 

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