San Francisco-based technology company Telmate announced its partnership with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Child Protective Services to sponsor children in foster care so that they connect with their incarcerated loved ones during the holiday season.
The department reports they have approximately four children in foster care at any given time with an incarcerated parent. According to Telmate Spokesperson Jeff Hansen, video visits are the most efficient means for friends and family members to stay in touch. Telmate’s video visits are offered online both onsite and remotely, saving families time and money to visit their incarcerated loved ones in person.
“Being estranged from your parents is already jarring enough in a kid’s life” Hansen said. “We wanted to do what we can to bring lives together through Telmate’s video visits.”
Family and Community Services Officer Catherine Bratt noted, “The program itself has been amazing and is working wonderfully, we have been able to facilitate the visits with no problems.”
For more information about Telmate’s Kids GO First program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telmate has been partnering with the Western Treasure Valley Boys and Girls Club with initiatives to help ensure that kids steer their lives away from a life of crime. Known as “Telmate Cares,” Telmate employees volunteer their time to teach classes to disadvantaged youth every month with topics ranging from Graphic Design using Photoshop, Basic Coding Skills, Branding 101 and more recently “Using Photography to Tell Stories.”
During the class, Telmate Cares volunteer Angela Frucci talked about her life as a photographer and showed the children published samples of her work. The objective of the class was to show children to see the world around them from a different perspective and as a powerful way to tell stories. Class participants were equipped with cameras so they could go around, explore and take photos of newly discovered subjects.
“Showing these kids how to change out a camera lens for the first time and teaching them about what makes a striking photograph, were two of the most fulfilling hours of my life,” said Frucci. “They were extremely keyed into learning about finding subjects in unexpected places.”
Telmate believes this initiative is helping reduce recidivism at its core by providing disadvantaged youth with positive resources and steering them away from negative teenage pressures. Western Treasure Valley Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Matt Sorensen agrees. “The kids may not have been able to have that consistency growing up so it’s important for us to get dedicated volunteers so that they can establish rapport with them.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 27, 2014 – Inmate communications leader Telmate may be known as a technology provider for prisons and jails, but Telmate’s employees have taken their mission to a new level. The company’s mission is to “Create secure technology that empowers inmates to break the cycle of recidivism while protecting and serving facilities and communities.”
“We truly believe our technology is making a difference in people’s lives, connecting inmates with their loved ones and providing them with positive resources to get out and stay out,” said Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Hansen, “but we wanted to do something more to help reduce recidivism at its core.”
The company has been partnering with the Boys and Girls Club for several years with different initiatives to steer kids away from living a life of crime by giving them positive learning resources. This initiative among others is part of the company’s community outreach program also known as “Telmate Cares.”
To date, the company has donated 14 tablets to aid in teaching kids basic arithmetic skills, and has offered training classes to small groups of children ranging from topics like “Basic Coding” to “Branding 101.” Next month, Telmate volunteers will be back to show members of the Boys and Girls Club “How to Use Photography to Tell Stories.”
Executive Director Matt Sorensen said, “The kids really enjoy seeing a familiar face from Telmate every month. They may not have been able to have that consistency growing up so it’s important for us to get dedicated volunteers so that they can establish rapport with them.”
How much of positive impact this continuity has on the members of the Boys and Girls Club remains to be seen, but Hansen believes in the power of giving back and its long term benefits. “It’s nice being able to ‘do our time’ to play a small role in keeping kids from doing time,” Hansen said.
For more information about this initiative, visit www.telmate.com/telmatecares.