A recent announcement has been made from Telus that says it is giving an unprecedented $120 million, launching the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, an independent charitable organization mandated to address the social and economic challenges facing Canada’s disadvantaged youth. This inaugural endowment is the largest donation made by a publicly traded Canadian company in history and one of the largest ever in North America.

Having worked with many local community charities over the years, including local schools that struggle to help provide the resources the more disadvantaged students require to excel in their studies and day-to-day, this announcement has brought so much hope and happiness.  It’s a known fact that plenty of smaller charities are often overlooked by large corporate donors.

It comes to no surprise to me though that Telus, being known for their long-time, genuine reputation as a values-driven company, would launch something so amazing and thoughtful — often never overlooking the “little guy”.  Telus is the first Canadian organization named the most philanthropic company in the world by by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  I couldn’t be more proud to be a Telus Ambassador.

TELUS launches the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, which provides grants to grassroots charities and gives kids a brighter future

Across Canada, 1.5 million children go hungry without access to nutritious food every single day; 350,000 young people are in government care and, lacking the support of a family, often experience trauma and an isolating transition into adulthood; 30,000 Canadians, many of them young people, are homeless on any given night and lack vital access to healthcare; and 40 per cent of low-income families lack affordable access to the Internet, putting kids at risk of falling behind in school.

“At TELUS, we believe that the challenges faced by vulnerable Canadian youth are unacceptable, which is why we are increasing our support of this important group,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation enables even the smallest grassroots charities that are on the front lines in our communities – yet are often overlooked by large corporate donors – to receive funding grants that will be used to help young Canadians build digital literacy skills, provide basic healthcare and mental health support to the homeless, and open up essential educational opportunities.”

Mr. Entwistle added, “In the last two decades, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $1 billion through $530 million in financial support and 1.21 million days of volunteerism, giving with our hearts and our hands to Canadians, yet still, there is so much more to be done. Working with the TELUS Community Boards, the Foundation will help to remove barriers and connect our most vulnerable citizens to the resources they need. The potential of these young people is boundless, and it is our responsibility to support and nurture them.”

The support provided by the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation complements TELUS’ existing social-purpose initiatives, including:

  • Internet for Good, a ground-breaking program that offers nearly 30,000 low-income families in B.C. and Alberta access to low-cost, high-speed Internet and a computer. TELUS is expanding this program to even more families through the Government of Canada’s “Connecting Families” initiative this November;
  • Mobility for Good, which offers a free cell phone and data plan to youth aging out of the foster care system in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec, ensuring this vulnerable population can stay connected to their support networks, social services, education and employment opportunities. TELUS will expand this program to Alberta this November, and Manitoba in February 2019;
  • Health for Good, an innovative national program that provides healthcare to vulnerable and underserved Canadians through the deployment of specially equipped mobile health clinics into communities where frontline care is urgently needed.

For more information about the foundation, to make a donation, or to apply for a grant, please visit friendlyfuture.com.

Way to go, Telus! Their compassion for our youth is commendable and I am looking forward to seeing the many seeds to be sown in the coming future thanks to this remarkable Foundation.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as a Telus Partner; however, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.

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