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Donations accepted: Gently used devices to help seniors connect with loved ones this Christmas

Donated devices will help provide sage virtual visits for seniors in long-term care facilities

A device drive is now underway in Red Deer 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.

Project Joy, an organization founded at the onset of the pandemic to provide connected devices to senior facilities, is asking Red Deer residents to drop off old tablets and smartphones at London Drugs before Dec.23.

The devices will be sanitized, cleared of all personal data, refurbished, and then provided to care homes with step-by-step guides for staff to help residents have virtual visits with family over the holidays.

“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.

Since quarantine measures first came into effect at care facilities throughout the province, Project Joy received requests from all over Alberta, with many care providers now on the waiting list to receive devices for their residents.

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 5 or newer are accepted. The organization is asking to include chargers if posible. The devices must be reset to factory settings and unlinked from Apple ID, iCloud and any management accounts with the protective cases removed. London Drugs service technicians will conduct a complete data wipe prior to it being restored and made ready for use by a care facility.

Laptops, since they are more difficult to sanitize, are not being accepted as part of the device drive.

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