Communities Banding Together in Times of Uncertainty – Part 1
July 21, 2020 - The past three months have been very different for many around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a time of struggle and uncertainty, it is important that we have a sense of community that shows we are all in this together. That as things start clearing up we will come out stronger and more resilient as one. There are many stories of individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities coming together to give thanks for those working on the frontlines, supporting local businesses and in general offering support to their communities and community members.
We start today with the big five communities of Ontario’s north, our largest population centres. Acknowledging just some of the many proofs that Northerners are here for each other. Going above and beyond to give back, and to show that although we are going through such difficult times we find ways to adapt and overcome.
‘TimminsToday’ is promoting “Essential workers of the day”. This segment identifies both frontline and essential workers who are going above and beyond during these tough times. To send a request is simple; if you would like to give thanks to a frontline/essential worker, simply take a picture and send it along with some details on why they are so great (which all our frontline/essential workers are).
An elementary school teacher, Andrea Curran, is getting her students involved at home with helping make hand sewn hearts. The idea is to sew two hearts, one is given out to a patient in the palliative care and dementia units at the North Bay Regional Health center and the other goes to the family. "The hopes would be that the hearts would be reunited again" said Curran in an interview. A total of 40 sets were made. This shows that even the smallest actions make a huge difference.
Sault Ste. Marie
To get a sense of how individuals are coping and finding creative ways to continue on with annual events we look to Sault Ste. Marie. Troy’s Trail, an annual event held to raise awareness as well as funds for Hydrocephalus Canada, had a different approach this year. Due to the pandemic, the 9th annual walk could no longer be held in person. However, thanks to technology, the event was held virtually through Facebook.
Kindergarten students from McKenzie Public school have been creating artwork and writing letters to send to seniors at The Walford and Chartwell Thunder Bay. It is important to remember that senior citizens are those that are most susceptible to the virus. To keep them safe, visiting restrictions have been put in place which do not allow for outside visits. This is why Cathleen Armstrong, SK and JK teacher at McKenzie Public school, encouraged her students to show seniors they are loved and cared for during these difficult times. This demonstrates a great sense of care and community to those who are forced to deal with the pandemic in complete isolation, and shows what community is all about, being there for one another.
Romakko’s Source for Adventure donated $4,500 to the Elgin Street Mission Food Fund, which will be able to provide 1,200 meals in order to feed the hungry. This donation shows again, the sense of community and looking out for everyone during these enduring times and making sure no one gets left behind.
These are just some of the acts of kindness and generosity we see throughout Ontario’s northern regions. There are many more examples in the communities listed here and hundreds more in the communities not on this list. These experiences will strengthen Ontario communities, as well as communities in Canada and around the world.
The takeaway is clear: Look out for one another because in the end, community will always be there for you.
Note: While this blog talks about the Big 5, the next will talk about 5 smaller communities that are also doing exceptional work.
To read COVID-19 & Communities Part 2 click here
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Andrew Jalak is a Communication Officer at NPI.
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