• Joy Gyamfi

Feeling Helpful? Here are 7 (more!) things you can do.

In my last post, I shared a list of 7 Covid-19 related community fundraisers to donate to. If you still want to help but are unable to donate money directly, check out these initiatives and options instead.

1. Safe Seniors, Strong Communities

This program brought to you by BC211 and United Way matches seniors in need with a local volunteer who can provide non-medical essentials such as grocery shopping, meal prep, friendly phone calls, and transportation to appointments. Volunteer your time to help a senior! Call 211 for more info, or fill out this online form to apply.

2. Donate to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Domestic Violence rates around the world have drastically increased since social distancing measures were implemented. You can help women-centred organizations like the DEWC in their mission to support survivors of domestic violence through the provision of tools and resources. They are currently accepting new and unopened goods and clothing; underwear being most urgently needed. View their wishlist and FAQ here.

*You can also email engagement@dewc.ca to donate meals to their 24hour emergency shelter.

3. Sew With Claire

Sew With Claire is a North Vancouver based volunteer group that sews masks, gowns, caps, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and medical professionals. They are accepting donations of cotton fabric, flat buttons, elastic, or thread. If you can sew, email volunteer@sewwithclaire.ca.

4. Take surveys to help with data collection

Canada doesn’t track race or ethnicity as part of its data collection on Covid-19. This is pretty concerning, considering racialized populations – black people in particular – are more likely to die from Covid-19 in the United States. If you have ten to fifteen minutes to spare, fill out this survey from the BC Centre for Disease Control. The results may provide insight on how specific populations (race, class, gender-based, and more) are affected by Covid-19 compared to others.

5. Baby Go Round

BabyGoRound is a program that provides essential baby items including gear, diapers and clothing to families in need throughout the Lower Mainland. They work with several social services agencies such as the YWCA, youth and teen pregnancy programs, and new to Canada programs. They are currently accepting donations of items such as strollers, high chairs, and diaper bags. Click here for more info.

6. Donate blood

Covid-19 has caused a shortage of many things, blood being one of them. Unfortunately, homophobic restrictions for men who have sex with men contine to be put in place despite concerns about critical levels. If you’re able to, consider donating blood.

7. Take care of yourself

Self-care is an important aspect of community care. As we’ve said before, it’s crucial to take care of your own needs in order to best support others. Compassion fatigue is real. Exhaustion is real. Burnout is real. Luckily self care is a way to mediate these feelings, and better ensure that we can offer our support in a sustainable way.

We hope this list helps you in your endeavours to contribute to community care!

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