YWCA Hamilton Overwhelmed by Community Support during COVID-19

Quick escape link leading to Weather Network websiteQuick Escape Gift bags donated by an anonymous donor.

We asked. You delivered.

When the Covid-19 Pandemic hit Hamilton, Steve Park was one of the many Hamiltonians who knew he had to help.

Steve is one of the co-owners of Applied Kinetics, a small engineering and design business based in Ancaster. When Steve heard about the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the community, he banded together with another engineering company – a bicycle parts manufacturer called 9point8 located in the same office space – to help solve the problem.

Together, Applied Kinetics and 9point8 put their regular manufacturing on hold, and with the help of an internet tutorial, began making face shields. After learning that YWCA Hamilton had a shortage of PPE, Steve and his team donated 100 of their face shields to help protect YWCA Hamilton frontline workers.

“How could I not do something when we had the equipment and the ability, the skills, the capability?” he said. “We just felt compelled to. We had to.”

A box of face shields.
Face shields donated by Applied Kinetics and 9Point8.

Steve and his team are among the hundreds of donors who answered YWCA Hamilton’s call for donations of PPE. Supplies like masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes have been crucial to ensuring YWCA Hamilton staff can continue to provide care to those who need it, including women and families experiencing homelessness, or adults living with developmental disabilities at our residences across the city .

Since putting out the call for PPE in late March, YWCA Hamilton received 5,399 pieces of equipment – ranging from disposable surgical masks to medical goggles to hand sanitizer – valued at a total of $23,843.30. YWCA Hamilton also received 1,562 homemade face masks, each one homemade by local sewists and quilters.

A pile of donated face masks in cheerful fabric.
Face masks sewn by local crafters.

But the community support has extended far beyond PPE. Since the Covid-19 lockdown began, YWCA Hamilton has received over $15,000 worth of in-kind donations from the community. Those donations include personal care items like shampoo and conditioner, items to help keep residents busy in isolation, and day-brighteners such as fresh flowers.

Some examples of these generous in-kind donations include:

  • Activities and art supplies to help keep women in the Transitional Living Program (TLP) engaged while social isolating, provided by Ikea Canada.
  • A four-course Easter dinner provided by an anonymous donor in partnership with Carmen’s Group. Carmen’s also donated a meal to TLP residents over Mother’s Day weekend.
  • Staff meals for YWCA Hamilton frontline workers every Friday in May, provided by the Other Bird restaurant group and the Walters Group.
  • Grocery gift cards to distribute in the community, including $3,000 from Sobeys to support 120 women experiencing homelessness; $1,200 from Breakfast Clubs of Canada to support 50 kids from Phoenix Place families; and $19,980 from Food Rescue to support 603 women and families across our programs.
Donated adult colouring books
Adult colouring books donated to the Transitional Living Program.

Each of these donations enabled YWCA Hamilton to continue to help those who were among the most at risk during Covid-19. We continue to accept donations of PPE to help ensure we have adequate supplies in the future.

Thank you for bringing our community closer together – even while we’re staying apart.

To support women and families in Hamilton, please consider donating to our COVID-19 appeal.

By the Numbers

PPE Type

Total Received

 

Disposable face masks

 

1525

 

 

Medical gowns

 

13

 

 

Medical glasses

 

25

 

Face Shields

 

311

 

Hand sanitizer

 

610

 

Disinfecting wipes and liquids

 

3

 

Rubber gloves (≈ 100/box)

 

1120

 

Homemade face masks

 

1562

 

Other (Plastic Aprons)

 

190

 

TOTAL

 

5399

 

Next post: 18 June 2020

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