COVID-19? A good thing? No. Hell no. But damn there is a seriously bright silver lining here and I hope I’m not the only one squinting.
Devastation caused by the coronavirus has reached all corners of the world, but so has a level of compassion that we haven’t seen in decades, if ever.
Of course, no one wanted to see the day when this level of compassion was really needed. When random businesses would rejig entire manufacturing lines to start pumping out ventilators and PPE, or when rainbows, hearts and messages of love and support would be plastered in windows throughout our neighbourhoods. But necessity breeds performance, and people are performing their hearts out.
Here at Troop, the do-good-game is our bread and butter, so when the going got tough, Troopers stepped it up to fulfill even more needs. Here’s a recap of our covid-compassion-in-action.
Snacks in High Demand
With the city on lockdown, the 80+ men using the shelter services of Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre are staying onsite all day, everyday. The organization is in serious need of fruit and snacks to feed their members throughout the day. Thirteen Troopers helped raise $500 and delivered enough fruit to last a week.
Headphones to Connect in Crisis
We called on Troopers to help the staff at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre gear up for working from home. Offering counselling services and 24-hour crisis support to survivors of sexual assault, away from the office, requires the right type of equipment. We pooled $952 from 23 Troopers to purchase eight background noise cancelling headphones plus sent the TRCC a donation for $392.
Folks Still Gotta Eat
When our local refugee group home and support centre found themselves in a jam after closing their doors to all volunteers, Troop stepped in to help Matthew House feed their residents. At the same time we showed some love to a few local Roncy restaurants. Ten Troopers contributed $410 to cover dinner for the house for four nights.
Take Home the Home Cookin’
In the midst of the outbreak, Sistering continues to support the homeless and precariously housed women who rely on their daily food program by offering a takeout service. Troop members pooled $383 and sent 700 takeout containers and 20 $10 Tim Hortons gift cards to help Sistering feed our neighbours. It took a half a day on the phone with Costco to secure the in-demand takeout containers, but it was worth it!
More than Canned Goods
Our Food Banks have seen a remarkable increase in demand and not just for non-perishables. We helped the Parkdale Community Food Bank fulfill a need that most people wouldn’t consider them having – diapers. We pooled $410 from seven Troopers and sent them 11 boxes to help stock the shelves.
Baskets of Love
Something needed to be done to remind our underserved communities that although they might be isolated, they are not alone. We helped Breakaway Addiction Services show some love to members of their Pieces to Pathways substance use program for LGBTQ youth with food hampers. Ten caring neighbours pooled $500 to fund 35 food baskets.
Jose arrived in Canada from Mexico days before the COVID-19 lockdown. Unable to speak English, Matthew House, a Toronto agency that supports refugees, helped get Jose set up with English lessons. Not long after, schools closed and Jose had no way of accessing online lessons. Six Troopers stepped up to contribute $200 to set Jose up with a refurbished laptop so he could turn his lockdown into study time.
And We’re Not Finished
Over the coming months and years the full force of the pandemic will show it’s face through a strain on our social services, increased unemployment and a widening income gap. Neighbourhoods will change and needs will grow. No doubt the compassion will flow, and Troop will continue to help caring neighbours discover and fulfill local needs.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped fulfill a COVID-19 local need. You are the brightest silver lining in all of this.
If you haven’t already, you can sign up for Troop need notifications here.