The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and it has sometimes seemed like an influx of bad news on top of bad news.
We wanted to take a moment to look for the bright lights in the darkness and celebrate some of the people and businesses that have found ways to give back and help their communities.
During this time, we are all in this together — and any little bit of help can go a long way.
Ardene Donates to Fight COVID-19
Ardene Canada, based out of Montreal, launched a donation campaign at the end of March to donate comfortable footwear and socks to healthcare workers across Canada. They have already donated nearly 25,000 socks and shoes since March 24 and are supporting more than six provinces in 75 hospitals so far.
Metro Commits $1 Million to COVID-19 Relief
The grocery company Metro gave $500,000 to Feed Ontario and Food Banks of Québec, $500,000 to Centraide/United Way’s emergency fund, and an additional $1 million to Food Banks of Québec and the Centraide emergency fund.
The donation is meant to help with food insecurity, elder care, mental health support, and more.
They are also supporting the Food Banks of Québec major fundraising campaign and have launched a Together We Can campaign, where they pledged to match customer donations of up to $500,000 for Feed Ontario and United Way.
Repurposing Manufacturing Facilities
Many Canadian manufacturers have shifted focus from their regular operations to making personal protective equipment (PPE).
The list of those who have pitched in is long — CTV News reported that nearly 5,000 small Canadian businesses offered to retool their factory floors to provide critical PPE.
Here are a few of the manufacturers who have answered the call:
- Jewlr, a Toronto-based online jewelry brand, used its CNC laser (normally meant to personalize products) to make protective face shields. To date, they have donated more than 2,500 across Ontario. They also donated their inventory of N95 masks to local hospitals in Toronto and the GTA.
- Endy, a Canadian mattress company, learned that medical staff at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver were sleeping on stretchers and donated mattresses, pillows, and mattress protectors.
- Muskoka Brewery began manufacturing hand sanitizer for frontline hospital staff.
- Harry Rosen started manufacturing face masks for health workers across the country.
- Canada Goose began production of medical gear for frontline healthcare workers and patients across Canada, including scrubs and patient gowns. As of April 9, they had delivered more than 14,000 units of medical gear.
- Toy manufacturer Irwin Toy is making medical-grade masks. They have been producing between 250,000 to 500,000 masks per day.
Nobis Donates 100% of Sales
Nobis, a Canadian outerwear brand, announced that from April 10 to 30, 100% of its online sales (before taxes) would be donated to help frontline healthcare workers.
The campaign allowed the customer to choose the organization where their donations would be sent. Potential recipients included five Ontario hospitals and the CanadaHelps COVID-19 Healthcare & Hospital Fund. International sales supported the Red Cross COVID-19 Global Appeal.
In addition, Nobis committed $100,000 to local hospitals.
Just the Tip of the Iceberg
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Canadian retailers and manufacturers giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In such a turbulent, difficult time, it is heartwarming to see our industry come together like this.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to making this happen, and of course an enormous thank you to the frontline healthcare and retail staff keeping us all safe and provided for during this time. You are true heroes.
We are continuing to support brands and retailers however possible during this time. Reach out to us for national field team assistance, merchandising help, and more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.