During these uncertain times, one thing has never been more clear: the need for community support. Canadians everywhere are coming together to help each other navigate COVID-19 and its various challenges by sharing knowledge, supplies, and emotional support. It truly is the silver lining in all of this.
Just in the last couple of days the response has been overwhelming. Strangers or not – we’ve witnessed people come together to help out our essential workers, neighbours, and small business owners. On Saturday, Alberta announced the donation of its surplus of PPE and ventilators to other Canadian provinces, Ottawa based company Spartan Bioscience has adapted their DNA test kits to test for COVID-19, and numerous Toronto Restaurants have been offering free food to people in need, including Little India Restaurant.
The Ottawa Food bank has also had support with significant donations from Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein, HEXO Co-founder and director Adam Miron, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, and even the Wutang Clan.
In honour of the incredible support Canadian’s are offering their community and country, we would like to highlight a few volunteer based organizations that could use more volunteers, donations, or a social media boost.
And as always, the best thing we can do to protect each other and our front line workers is to stay home.
Protecting our front line workers
Canada Sews is a group of volunteers that help our front line workers in need by creating fabric masks and scrub caps to donate. They have donated 10, 080 masks so far, but as the requests currently sit at 50 983 more volunteers are needed.
How you can help: If you have the skills required, the Canada Sews site has instructions on how to make the homemade PPE, including specifics on materials, patterns, and proper shipping practices.
The website is also very clear that the homemade masks and other PPE from the Canada Sew organization are made as a last resort only. They are not a replacement for medical grade PPE, social distancing, or essential hygienic practices.
If you are unable to contribute to Canada Sews, Conquer COVID-19 is seeking donations of supplies including (but not limited to); ventilators, 2-way baby monitors, PPE, tablets, diapers and formula.
Protecting Canada’s most vulnerable
Ample Labs, the non-profit tech company and creator of Chalmers – a chat bot to assist Toronto’s most vulnerable – has risen to the occasion with their new chatbot COVID-Bot. Their new chatbot was created to help people, regardless of their housing situation, quickly access the resources needed to stay safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promote Food Security
Founded by Canadian Executive Chef, Jagger Gordon, Feed it forward became the world’s first ‘pay what you can’ grocery store, cafe, and bakery. Their mission is to bring healthy and nutritious food to Canadians in need while reducing the 40% of Canadian produced food that ends up in a landfill.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Feed it Forward has been doing everything possible to scale up their initiative, including organizing an Easter bunny drive-through over the past weekend to give local children an Easter adventure while social distancing.
How you can help: Feed it Forward is looking for volunteers for various roles including clerk, delivery, and food preparation and packaging. They also need assistance in sourcing food supplies that otherwise would go to the landfill. And on that note, don’t forget to sign this petition so more unused food will end up donated rather than in landfills.
These organizations are a small selection of those lending a helping hand to fellow Canadians. Over the coming weeks we look forward to sharing more on heroic organizations and what part you can play to help those in need. If you have anything you think we should share either here on our blog or on social media, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org