Look for the Helpers

Thursday, Apr 9, 2020

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." - Mr. Rogers

Challenging times have a way of bringing out the best in people, and the time we're in now is no exception.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen so much good being done around the world and in our own backyards. We’ve seen countless stories of neighbours helping neighbours, companies shifting gears in a flash to produce much needed medical resources, entertainers providing us with music and laughter when we need it most, support being shown to local businesses, and funds being raised to support those hardest hit by the crisis.

We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the helpers in our community.

First and foremost, our essential service providers: Let's all give a big (physically distant) round of applause to those who are working hard to keep us safe and well. Health care workers, grocery store staff, municipal employees, community outreach workers—the list goes on and on. By following all the guidelines, like washing our hands and staying home whenever possible, we are doing what's needed to support these real-life superheroes.

Charitable organizations continue to be true shining stars for those most affected by the current crisis. For example, United Way divisions around the province are encouraging people to show Local Love in a Global Crisis, by raising funds or volunteering to provide care for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Food banks in BC help thousands of individuals every month, and in the face of greater than average need, organizations and volunteers are working harder than ever to keep healthy food on people’s plates. Animal shelters around the province continue their incredible work every day to ensure our furry friends stay protected and cared for during this difficult time.

Mental health organizations are working hard to provide resources for those who need assistance - offering tips and information on how to take good care in times of stress.

Community spirit. Many hands make lighter work and the individual efforts of so many British Columbians are adding up to make a world of difference. Social media is full of stories of communities coming together to organize no-contact grocery shopping for those who are unable to go for themselves or setting up regular virtual check-ins with neighbours who may need assistance.

Perhaps you’ve heard the loud evening cheers coming from balconies and backyards in your neighborhood. That’s the sound of support and thanks going out to all of those who are working hard to keep us safe. Messages in windows or drawn on driveways in chalk can be seen throughout the province – everyone expressing their gratitude to lift spirits and share a hopeful message.

Individuals are responding to this crisis in so many ways – from offering their time to volunteer for local causes, giving financially, answering the need for blood donations from Canadian Blood Services – people are giving where they live. Every contribution counts.

Companies around the province and the country are using their resources and creativity to offer support and comfort as well as donating funds and time. From providing coffee and beverages to front-line responders at no cost, to offering free or discounted accommodations to health care workers so they can rest and grab a shower if they are staying isolated from their homes, to providing free food and supply deliveries to care centres and hospitals – their generosity and support is making a real difference, one person and one community at a time.

As it has so many times in the past, our collective community spirit is shining through in a challenging time. British Columbians are proving once again that we truly are better together.