In the middle of March, to protect residents from COVID-19, Prince Edward Island closed all of its long-term care facilities to visitors. While this reduced the risk of potential infection, residents were affected by the lack of visits, experiencing loneliness and feeling disconnected.
Kent Hudson, Executive Director of Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI), shared that shortly after the start of the physical distancing protocol, a provincial government employee reached out to CFPEI and suggested funding a program that would provide tablets for seniors in long-term care facilities, allowing folks to stay in touch with their loved ones. Following that conversation, the Tablets for Seniors Fund was born with a goal to provide 100 tablets to care facilities.
To make this vision a reality, “everyone just jumped in,” said Hudson. Moving from brainstorm to tablet delivery was a team effort. The provincial government kickstarted the fund with $10,000. Fundraising brought another $15,000. When it came time to buy the tablets, prices had skyrocketed due to massive demand, so a local company, Combat Computers, explored their supply chain contacts and secured a supplier who could ship 100 tablets. Local credit unions offered to deliver them, and staff at the care facilities helped train users on how to operate the tablets. To date, 50 tablets are in the hands of local seniors and another 50 are on their way, covering the whole island.
CFPEI is working to build on that community spirit and in addition to Tablets for Seniors, the foundation is hosting Stay-At-Home Gala, a free of charge, online gala — all from the comfort of one’s home. Attendees are encouraged to order takeout as a way to support local restaurants in these challenging times.
SCENE, Canada’s popular entertainment loyalty program, partnered with music label, Universal Music Canada, to showcase top artists and emerging performers through interactive programming. Starting with a live stream music event on August 26, the new initiative introduced and featured a variety of artists and offer SCENE members exclusive content, socially distanced fan experiences and live events.
The inaugural SCENE Music event live streamed from The Rec Room Toronto on August 26 just for SCENE members and was The Rec Room Toronto’s first live event since closing its doors due to COVID-19 earlier this year, and marked the venue opening for safe music experiences in the coming months. The event supported of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, where nearly $210,000 in donations from SCENE provided kids across the country with unforgettable experiences to enjoy with their friends and families. The impact of these donations were celebrated in a live streamed segment during the SCENE Music event. Fans tuned into the music event through SCENE.ca/music to get close to the action by participating in digital games and polls. Headlining the event was JUNO Award-winning, Toronto-based rock band The Beaches, who have been making waves since their 2018 JUNO award win for Breakthrough Group of the Year.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought out the best thousands of philanthropic organizations around the world, who sprang (and continue springing) into action to help at every level and in every sector and nook in every country. Here’s a few headlines of what charities and foundations did in July 2020, culled from a variety of sources:
MacArthur Foundation announce $1.6 million in grants for organisations working to ensure that technological responses to the COVID-19 pandemic protect privacy and advance equity (30 July); The Lego Foundation and USAID provide funding to support the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) response to COVID-19 (22 July); Stavros Niarchos Foundation continue to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts with further grants totalling over Grants $2.75 million (18 July); The Barrow Cadbury Trust and National Lottery Communities Fund launch COVID-19 Support Fund worth £5 million to support the migration charity sector in England (13 July); Oak Foundation share detailed summary of programmes and initiatives supported during the COVID-19 pandemic (9 July); IKEA Foundation donate €1.5 million to Start Network to support their worldwide work during the COVID-19 pandemic (9 July); Bozar publish insights into how the cultural sector is responding to COVID-19 around the world (3 July); The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation releases a summary of the foundation’s work to stop the epidemic in Ukraine (2 July); Gerda Henkel Stiftung publish “Coronavirus Logbook, through the lens of the humanities” a document to help better understand the widespread impact of COVID-19 and to provide a record of contemporary thinking on the crisis for posterity (1 July).
We could go on and fill a whole issue with stories like these, just by publishing the headlines. The world needs you and you showed you were ready.