The global COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we knew it in Ontario. Most of our members are working from home and taking extraordinary physical distancing measures. Society members in a limited number of critical roles continue reporting to work to do their part to keep Ontario’s lights on and devices powered.
As challenging as these times have been for us so far, not one of our members has missed a paycheque as a result of this crisis. For that reason, we are among the
world’s most fortunate people right now. Those hit the hardest were generally the most vulnerable to begin with. While our governments require time to mobilize their resources, charities and other community groups have also faced extremely difficult circumstances. Charitable donations are among the first casualties when financial disaster hits. In this gap between April 1, when rent cheques were due, and the date government support programs reach people, is an especially fraught time.
That is why the Society of United Professionals donated $50,000 to community food banks across Ontario. Donations include:
- Clarington East Food Bank: $5,000
- Kincardine Ministerial Food Bank: $10,000
- Project SHARE (Niagara Falls): $5,000
- Ottawa Food Bank: $5,000
- Paul’s on the Hill Food Bank (Pickering): $5,000
- Saugeen Shores Salvation Army Food Bank: $10,000
- Salvation Army (Thunder Bay): $5,000
- Daily Bread Food Bank (Toronto): $5,000
We recognize that some Society members may have lost a household income, or are supporting extended family members or other people or organizations in their community. However, if you are able to, we encourage you to join the Society in contributing to one of the food banks listed above or another one in your area.
The Society also responded to a request from our Pride & Solidarity Committee to support LGBTQ2S organizations who are doing important work to help their communities during the pandemic. Society contributed to the following organizations and encourages members to consider making personal contributions, too:
- Glad Day Book Store Emergency Survival Fund: $750
- LGBT Youthline: $250
- The 519: $250
- Rainbow Railroad: $250
These donations were made from the Society Special Events Fund, which disburses a portion of the union’s investment income to valuable charitable causes in the communities in which we live and work.