How my work day turned into a carnival

StrathconaThis past Thursday, my typical afternoon, usually consisting of my nose in the computer, an extra cup of coffee (or two, if we’re being honest) and meetings with colleagues was replaced with finding myself in an Elementary School gymnasium, drinking lemonade and eating cotton candy with about 400 students, parents and volunteers. I promise you, our work styles program has not gone completely rogue!


Through our recent adoption of Strathcona Elementary School, I had the opportunity to volunteer with ten of my colleagues at the school’s spring fair – manning game stations and handing out treats, prizes and a lot of high fives to some of the happiest (and creatively painted) faces I’ve ever seen.


TELUS adopted Strathcona through the Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School program last November. For us, this adoption meant that we would not only invest the necessary funds to support the school’s programs and families, which was $40,000, but that we would invest our time, too. To us, that’s what the adoption is all about – becoming members of the Strathcona community and lending our support where it’s needed. And let me tell you, if the appreciation that we felt Thursday night is any indication, the need is definitely there.

I could go into the fact that Strathcona is a ‘have-not’ school in Vancouver, and that the school’s rock-star Principal and community centre director spend their free time collecting life’s basic necessities to donate to students whose families are hardworking but face challenges making ends meet, but that’s not the image I want you to take away from this blog post. I want you to remember the smiling faces in the photos, and that Strathcona is one of the most fun-loving Elementary School’s I’ve ever been welcomed into. I’m hopeful you’ll recognize that those few hours we got to spend at Strathcona made a real impact, and how easy it is to make a difference in your community by donating something we all have to give – time. Carnival

As we were cleaning up popped balloons and deflating the bouncy castles, we joked that we didn’t know who had more fun – the students or the TELUS volunteers! We’re already all looking forward to the next time we get together.

I can’t close this without sending a big thank-you to all of our TELUS team members and customers. Together, you made this adoption possible. I’m confident those smiling faces in the pictures thank-you too! I also want to thank the Strathcona PAC and greater community for welcoming us with open arms and organizing the fair.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Adopt-a-School program and how you or your company can get involved, visit vansunkidsfund.ca