Help Isolated Alberta Seniors Connect with Loved Ones this Holiday Season

Donate Gently-Used Laptop, Smartphones or Tablets at London Drugs.  Donated devices will help provide safe virtual visits for seniors in long-term care facilities. 

[December 16, 2021] – The second annual device drive is now underway at London Drugs to get gently-used smartphones and tablets into the hands of long-term care facilities so that isolated seniors can connect virtually with loved-ones over the holidays (running from December 14, 2021 – January 3, 2022).

Project Joy, an organization founded at the onset of the pandemic to provide connected devices to senior facilities, is asking Albertans to drop off old tablets and smartphones at any London Drugs location in Alberta. The devices will be sanitized, cleared of all personal data and refurbished by the Electronics Recycling Association (ERA) and then provided to care homes with step-by-step guides for staff to help residents have virtual visits with family over the holidays.

Caption: Since quarantine measures first came into effect at care facilities throughout Alberta, Project Joy & ERA has received requests for devices from all over the province with many care providers now on the waiting list. Used devices can be donated at any London Drugs in Alberta.  (Photo Credit: Supplied, Bethany Loates)

Although the pandemic brought to light the isolation and loneliness that many seniors face in long-term care facilities, it is an issue that does not go away when the pandemic is behind us. Borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteer run Project Joy non-profit has seen the demand for their services continue to grow. After a very successful first year of providing over 400 devices to 37 Seniors homes, helping approximately 4,000 seniors connect with their loved ones, Project Joy continues to receive requests from all over Alberta, with many care providers now on the waiting list to receive devices for their residents.

“That old smartphone sitting in your drawer at home or that previous generation tablet you kept when you upgraded, could be put to critical use, offering virtual visits from family to seniors in our province after months of isolation and loneliness,” says Emily Jenks, Founder of Project Joy.

Devices can be dropped off at any London Drugs location in Alberta at the TECH Department. Android smartphones or tablets less than four years old, Apple iPad Gen 3 or newer and iPhone 6 or newer, and laptops are accepted. The devices must be reset to factory settings and unlinked from Apple ID, iCloud and any management accounts with the protective cases removed. Devices will be picked up by the Electronics Recycling Association (ERA) who will conduct a complete data wipe prior to it being restored and made ready for use by a care facility.

From last years’ drive: “We’ve had families able to watch their loved ones open gifts. These are precious moments that they otherwise would not be able to safely participate in this year.  Seeing that familiar face of a loved one and being able to reminisce with family members reminds them that they are not forgotten, people care about them and that we can all get through this difficult time together – even if we can’t be together in person,” says Joannie Robertson, Recreation Therapist at Copper Sky Seniors Lodge, one seniors’ facility that received tablets from Project Joy.

All 22 London Drugs locations in Alberta are now accepting used smartphone and tablet donations for donation to Project Joy. With the help of care facility workers, each donated device can be used by up to ten seniors to send and receive video calls, photos, and video messages.

“As we try to balance the need to protect the most vulnerable, with the need to support their sense of connection, virtual gatherings and video chats may be the greatest gift for older family members over the holidays,” says Ben Pullein, Store Manager at London Drugs.

The following devices are being accepted for donation to Project Joy at all London Drugs locations in Alberta:

  • Apple iPad / iPhone
    • iPhone 6 or newer
    • iPad Gen 3 or newer
    • Charger included if possible
  • Android Phone / Tablet
    • Age 4 years or newer
    • Must be unlinked from any management account and reset to factory settings
    • Charger included if possible

Laptops are being accepted this year as part of the device drive.

 

ABOUT PROJECT JOY
Project Joy started with a phone call to a care home in Edmonton to offer support to isolated seniors during the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. Residents were not allowed visitors and were feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. Project Joy sought out to bring joy and comfort to these seniors by collecting and donating old devices and supporting seniors to connect virtually with loved ones by video chat. The project has expanded province-wide and has helped more than 4000 seniors experience video connection to loved ones during the pandemic.

ABOUT LONDON DRUGS

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs sells to every province and territory in Canada through its online store www.LondonDrugs.com and has 81 physical stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from personal protection equipment for pandemic safety, to digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 9000 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring Canadian company that supports Canadian brands and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

ABOUT THE ELECTRONIC RECYCLING ASSOCIATION

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to address the growing problem of e-waste and the increasing ‘digital divide’. For over fifteen years, ERA has offered simple solutions to help individuals and organizations prevent operational equipment from premature destruction. With a focus on recovery, refurbishment and reuse, ERA continuously supplies charitable groups with donated IT equipment while securely managing the retiring IT assets of organizations and individuals across Canada.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:

Amy Bown
m. 587.892.3436
e. [email protected]

Interviews are available with:

  • Emily Jenks, Founder of Project Joy (Spruce Grove, AB)
  • Ulrike Thomas, Board Member and Incoming Board Chair (Calgary, AB)
  • Ben Pullein, Store Manager at London Drugs (Calgary, AB)
  • Sally Tran, Marketing and Events Coordinator at Electronics Recycling Association (Calgary, AB)