COVID-19 How YOU Can Help

Druh Farrell
6 min readOct 14, 2021

Date Published: April 7, 2020

How you can give back

Throughout this COVID-19 Pandemic, I have encouraged people to practice physical distancing and stay home, to wash their hands, and to be kind to one another. This has all been in the effort to not only protect ourselves, but also protect those of us who are putting their lives at risk on the front lines, working to make sure that grocery stores are stocked, and that our essential municipal services continue to serve Calgarians. Many of us have been doing our part and listening to the advice of others and myself.

Being kind to one another has also meant looking out for your neighbours and community. Calgarians are known for their generosity in unprecedented times. During this pandemic, I have heard that many of you are looking for ways to do more and help, but you are not sure how. At this time, the best way for you to give back is to continue to practice physical distancing and staying home. By doing this, we are helping to flatten the curve, while protecting those of us who are working to keep our essential services and needs going. Please only volunteer in-person if it is essential.

I have heard from many of you of how you might be able to help your neighbours during these unprecedented times. For some of us who are still lucky enough to be employed and have financial income, I encourage you to find and organization that you find worthy and help provide them with support through monetary donations. I have compiled some resources and tools for you to give back and to support your neighbour and community during these times.

Small actions you can take to make a big difference

You can make a difference for your neighbours and community in many easy ways, such as:
- Shoveling your neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk
- Picking up groceries using “I can help” cards
- Placing positive message signs in your window(s)
- Joining a virtual support group or online community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/570245233569098/
- Donating blood: https://www.blood.ca/en
- Share your acts of kindness on social media with the hashtags #3Things4Neighbours #AlbertaCares #SupportLocalYYC #yycHubs

Check out the City of Calgary’s page for more ways to commit to simple actions of kindness, here: https://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/cema/Pages/COVID19-NeighboursHelpingNeighbours.aspx

Local Support (Local charities, nonprofits/not-for-profits, and organizations)

Here are some organizations that are continuing to provide a service to the community that could use support in the form of volunteer, financial donations, or resources:

- Angel’s Café: Delivering free meals to Calgarians in need. Donations and requests for meals can be made between 10 AM and 5 PM.
https://angelscafe.ca/

- Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids: The organization is focusing on a response fund to buy and distribute grocery gift cards for hungry kids in Calgary. You can donate online.
https://bb4ck.org/

- Calgary Alpha House Society: This agency is in need of monetary donations to support individuals who are still accessing this resource.
http://alphahousecalgary.com/

- Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre Society: This organization is providing shelter to people experiencing homelessness. They are still offering limited drop-in and meal service program to people who sleep at the emergency shelter. Donations will only be accepted at the Donations Centre (3640 11A St. NE)
https://www.calgarydropin.ca/

- Calgary Food Bank: If you can afford to give now, please do so at to the Calgary Food Bank to support the incredible work that their team of staff and volunteers are doing to support Calgarians across our city.
https://calgaryfoodbank.com/donatefunds/

- Calgary Foundation’s COVID-19 Charity List: The Calgary Foundation has created a list of local charities that are in need of financial support in the wake of COVID-19.
https://ckc.calgaryfoundation.org/covid-charity-list/

- Calgary Health Trust: This charity supports the Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, South Health Campus, 12 local Carewest care centres and numerous community health programs.
https://secure.calgaryhealthtrust.ca/covid-donation

- Calgary Meals on Wheels: The Home Meal Delivery Program is continuing to take place. Calgary Meals on Wheels is not looking for new volunteers at this time, but they are in need of donations to continue to serve clients.
https://www.mealsonwheels.com/

- Canadian Blood Services: Our national blood bank needs extra help right now. It is still possible and safe to donate blood if you are healthy and don’t fall under mandatory isolation guidelines.
https://www.blood.ca/en

- Chestermere Food Bank: Chestermere Food Bank is still looking for food and monetary donations at this time. They are still offering a hamper program to serve those in need.
http://chestermerefoodbank.ca/

- Dashmesh Culture Centre: The culture centre has set up a free drive-through vegetarian meal service for anyone to provide free, hot-packed meals. Donate any food to support their service.
https://dashmesh.ca/covid/

- HelpingAlberta.com: This volunteer organization is working to get personally protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers. This is done through a GoFundMe campaign and donations. Volunteers are also needed to help mobilize supplies.
https://www.helpingalberta.com/

- Leftovers Foundation and Fresh Routes: Leftovers Foundation is accepting volunteers to help save and redistribute food, as well as food and financial donations. Fresh Routes (a separate team that shares volunteers) is looking for financial donations and volunteers.
Leftovers Foundation: https://rescuefood.ca/
Fresh Routes: https://freshroutes.ca/

- Salvation Army: All thrift stores across Canada have been closed to the public for shopping but will continue to support crisis needs of community and family service operations. Donation of goods is still being accepted.
http://www.salvationarmy.ca/alberta

- United Way Community Response Fund: The City of Calgary and The United Way of Calgary have set up the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help keep vulnerable Calgarians safe and well. Please consider donating.
https://calgaryunitedway.org/

- Women in Need Society (WINS): WINS is continuing to support clients across Calgary. They are asking for donations (monetary, cleaning, and disinfectant).
https://www.womeninneed.net/

- Women’s Centre of Calgary: The Women’s Centre of Calgary is still available to offer some support to women by phone. They still require funds to assist those in need through funds to purchase grocery gift certificates, or supporting the licensing and development of online connection opportunities.
https://www.womenscentrecalgary.org/donate/?utm_source=April+2020&utm_campaign=April+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

Support Local Businesses

There are a number of ways that you can support local businesses at this time.

- Order Takeout/Delivery: A number of Calgary restaurants are offering delivery options while their dining rooms are closed. Some are offering limited-time menus. Check out this list of Calgary Restauarants that are still serving up some delicious food:
https://www.avenuecalgary.com/restaurants-food/calgary-restaurants-offering-take-out-and-delivery/

- Grocery Delivery: If you are staying home and physically isolating you can get groceries delivered to your door. Check out this list of companies that are offering home delivery:
https://www.avenuecalgary.com/restaurants-food/grocery-delivery-services-in-calgary/

- Buy a Gift Card: Support a small business financially in the meantime, and reap the benefit later.

Provincial Support

- The Province has started the Bits and Pieces Program to encourage innovation and collect offers of resources and services to fight the COVID-19.
https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a9dc59fefa324814884e16f4ac084d6d

Federal Support

- Health Canada is building an inventory of skilled volunteers to support health care workers. You can apply to volunteer until April 24.
https://emploisfp-psjobs.cfp-psc.gc.ca/psrs-srfp/applicant/page1800?toggleLanguage=en&poster=1437722

If you are in need of support yourself, please visit the following resources for more help and assistance.

811 Health Link — If you develop symptoms, call 311

911 Emergency

311 City of Calgary

Alberta 211 — A free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area.
https://www.ab.211.ca/
For a detailed list of resources in Calgary and across Alberta, visit:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qeHqIGS3T4veKuo3QDARwiOdj_4u8JPHu4dkU93WZoY/edit#gid=1016565685

Women’s Centre of Calgary resources: https://www.womenscentrecalgary.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Womens-Centre-Services.pdf?utm_source=April+2020&utm_campaign=April+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

If you are looking for mental health resources, visit my blog here.

Community Support — Community Associations

The City of Calgary neighbourhood partnership coordinators to support community associations during the COVID-19 pandemic response. Community Association can be in direct contact with their neighbourhood partnership coordinators for support and information, here.

The Federation of Calgary Communities has additional valuable information and resources for community associations.
https://calgarycommunities.com/

Community Support — Funding Proposals
Charitable and non-profit organizations are encouraged to connect with their local FCSS progam to receive detailed funding guidelines and grant criteria to develop programming that helps indivdiuals, seniors, families, and other vulnerable Albertans who are isolated or impacted by measures to contain COVID-19

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Druh Farrell

Druh Farrell is a born-and-raised Calgarian and a long-time resident of Ward 7. As a City Councillor, Druh brings a depth of experience to Calgary City Council.