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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

STCU to donate $63,000 worth of smartphones for educational, health care services

STCU has donated $63,000 to provide 100 prepaid smartphones to provide access to education and healthcare.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)
By Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

In an effort to improve access to educational and health care services, Spokane Teachers Credit Union is donating $63,000 worth of smartphones that will provide 100 people cell service free for a year.

The 100 activated phones arrived last week and delivered to Spokane Public Schools, ESD101 Schools, West Valley School District, Family Promise of Spokane, Lutheran Community Services, Frontier Behavioral Health, CHAS Health, Excelsior, Inland Northwest Behavioral Health and the American Indian Community Center, said Dan Barth, director of business development at Inland Northwest Behavioral Health.

“I was amazed by STCU at their enthusiasm to solve this terrible problem that has been directly caused by the pandemic,” Barth said in a news release. “STCU immediately understood and moved quickly.”

The effort also needed a nonprofit partner to make the transaction with Verizon Wireless. CHAS Health filled that void, Barth said.

“This was solved within a matter of days, so that people in our community did not have to continue to live in such a significantly compromised way due to Covid-19,” Barth said.

The program now provides each smartphone recipient a hot spot to create wireless internet access for school. They also can access life-empowerment and healthcare services, which had been previously unavailable because the movement of most services to a digital delivery platform during to the pandemic.