The news is filled with stories of Canadian companies pivoting resources and re-tooling their machines in noble efforts to support frontline healthcare workers and fight the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Canadian Companies Step Up
Hockey manufacturing company Bauer went from helmet producer to face-shield manufacturer. Ontario-based auto supply chain behemoths Magna, Linamar and Martinrea are joining forces to build 10,000 ventilators. Local distillers like Oshawa-based All or Nothing Brewhouse are now brewing hand sanitizer instead of booze. These company success stories are endless.
Canada COVID-19 Support
Of course, not everyone has the means to now, all of a sudden, make medical masks or other critically important equipment. But we can all contribute, and there are glowing examples of everyday Canadians putting their wits to work during these extraordinary times.
Take Jennifer Robson, an Associate Professor at Carleton University. When many Canadians quickly found themselves without a job, a myriad of new government programs and support measures were launched to provide assistance. People had questions. Jennifer, using her public policy and researching skills, had the answers.
Jennifer created a plain language guide to Canadian federal and provincial income benefits for people met with today’s new reality. She shared it openly and asked others to share as well. It is updated daily as new information becomes available. A lifeline for people and their families in uncertain times. Please share it yourself.
Another publically shared document was the ‘Canadian Startup #COVID19 Talent Help List.‘ This is an active list of tech professionals looking for work in the Toronto Region due to being laid-off during COVID-19. It outlines people’s skillsets, previous employment and even shares their LinkedIn profiles. The list was built in partnership by Marianne Bulger, Founder of Prospect, Adam Bercovici, Founder of Luminari, and Adam Gellert, Founder of HiredHippo. A great effort put together by people in the community who care.
Local Businesses & Communities Coming Together
And the community does care. Take GroceryHero for instance, a new grocery delivery service aimed at filling an urgent need, which was launched on the fly by Co-Founder Matthew Lombardi, a senior consultant in Toronto.
GroceryHero is a free delivery matching service to help frontline medical professionals focus on fighting COVID-19. Volunteers are matched with a medical professionals in their neighbourhoods by postal code to help with delivery. Two weeks since its launch, the site has had more than 4,000 Canadians sign up.
That is what these moments are all about, people stepping up and doing what they can.
Even if that means all you have is a piece of chalk and some pavement.
In my Toronto Long Branch neighbourhood, kids are drawing pictures and writing well wishes for all those walking by. A hopscotch game appeared along one of the sidewalks and entertains my kids every time we pass. The words, ‘Stay Well,’ are written at the end of it. Thank you, neighbour. You too.
Cranes may be building our cities taller, but these are the people and the stories that are building our neighbourhoods, and our country, that much stronger.