Coming together during COVID-19

We spoke about the state of gratitude that we find ourselves in as an organization in our recent post.

Members of our community have been coming together to support people facing complex barriers as we work together to alleviate the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

From entrepreneurs transitioning their business models to assist in addressing the shortages of personal protection equipment, to local grocery stores allowing residential programs to lean on their supply chain to ensure they have sufficient quantities of food and supplies, we have seen wonderful stories of hope and solidarity throughout the pandemic.

COVID-19 has immense impacts on all members of our society, but it has unique effect on households experiencing poverty, people unable to self-isolate or maintain physical distancing, people who may not have the resources to practice proper hygiene, and those who rely on community services to meet their needs.

These realities are deeply understood and experienced by our staff teams, who are working to provide essential services to vulnerable community members while also working to keep themselves and others safe. We are incredibly thankful for the companies, service providers, and individuals in our community that are coming together to support the work that we do, and the people doing that work.

We would like to acknowledge some of these incredible businesses in today’s post.

Resurrection Spirits is a distillery in our local community who early on transitioned their spirits production to create hand sanitizer. 

Once Resurrection Spirits heard that the John Howard Society was in need of hand sanitizer to continue keeping our service users and staff safe during this crisis, they stepped up to donate large quantities of hand sanitizer to us.

Garden Health, a Vancouver-based Community Health and Wellness Store donated 40 bottles of Vitamin B12 which we were able to distribute to some of our most vulnerable service users to assist them in remaining safe and healthy during the pandemic.

As an organization, we have spent a great deal of time throughout the pandemic assessing how we can acknowledge and support our staff as champions in our community working to support vulnerable people through the crisis. We’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to team up with incredible wellness-based companies to help us in doing that.  

David’s Tea donated a range of individually packaged tea blends, allowing us
to provide staff with packets of delicious herbal, green, and black teas.

Saje donated bottles of their Lavender Relaxing Mist to promote a sense of calm and balance as JHS staff teams are up against some of the greatest challenges presented by COVID-19.

Lush donated tons of unscented soap – which we were able to gift to both staff and service users – as well as bath bombs to promote good hygiene and relaxation.

Herbaland, a Canadian nutritional gummy producer donated delicious Immune gummies to help our front line workers stay healthy. They’ve also put together a short film documenting their journey to support Front-Line Heroes through their Community for Immunity campaign. 

We were thankful to be able to give these gifts of appreciation to each and every one of our front line staff working across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley during the pandemic – that’s over 160 gifts featuring amazing products from Saje, Lush, David’s Tea, Herbaland, and others.

Our teams have been working on the front lines of COVID-19, assisting some of our communities most vulnerable citizen navigate through the crisis. As Shane Simpson, BC’s Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction commented,

“The work that you’re doing is critical at the best of times, and in the middle of COVID-19, it’s not the best of times – but your staff teams are stepping up and the government and the Premier very much appreciate it”

We are proud of the work that our teams have been doing throughout COVID-19, and so heartened by the generosity that we have received from others in the community. We have and will continue to face adversity due to our current realities, but we are reminded of the power of coming together to support each other through these difficult times.