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Charities We Support
We started GiveAMask.ca because we were worried about accessibility to masks. There were shortages and the ones available didn’t seem to be well designed or made with high-quality materials. And then we realised, what about the people who can’t afford masks? What about the people who have lost their jobs, are already struggling, or have to work and risk being exposed, or worse, bring this home to their families.
As much as we would have liked to individually help every one of those people, we couldn’t. We’re just two people trying to figure out how to get high-quality, reusable masks made and keep them accessible. So we knew we had to donate them, but who could we donate them to? With a little research we found local charities that had extensive networks, allowing them to help thousands of people every day. We knew these charities would be the most effective way for us to make a difference, if we could get the masks made, they would be able to distribute them. So we built our website, our purchasing model and got to work.
Since our inception, we have partnered with or donated to multiple charities. Take a look below to learn more about their stories and what they’re doing to get through Covid-19 -
Feed the Need in Durham has done amazing work to help people cope with food insecurity, especially through the pandemic. Realising that their existing model for receiving food donations needed to be revisited given the unusual times, they developed a specific fundraising program that supports bulk food purchasing which in turn allows them to purchase in bulk the most needed and in demand food items. This equates to more food, especially the staples, to share with their frontline emergency food providers to support their neighbours facing hunger. Since March 23rd, Feed the Need with the help of their caring community and dedicated volunteers has distributed over 850,000 pounds out to reach those in need. The donated masks go to their volunteers and the volunteers of their frontline emergency food providers, allowing them to safely interact with member agencies, community supporters, and the community in need.
Based in Hamilton, Good Shepherd has had to make several adjustments to ensure they are able to continue providing support to the most vulnerable members of their community. Knowing that the pandemic would increase food and housing insecurity, one of the first things they did was open a temporary surge shelter at First Ontario Place. Though they had to suspend many of their in-person programs, they remained committed to providing the essential support that their community needs. They take all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their staff, volunteers, and clients through the use of PPE, social distancing and sanitising. The masks we donate would be used in tandem with other safety measures to allow them to continue operating
Before COVID-19 hit, The Compass offered multiple programs to their clients and community, including a food bank, a nursing clinic, haircuts, counselling, and a drop in centre in addition to various meal programs focused on bringing the community together. Since the lockdown measures, they have had to adjust the way they work, including shifting to a ‘hamper’ model in which clients can place a custom order and come to pick up food once a week. They also continue to offer support to clients with wellness phone calls, access to counsellors, and assistance with things like preparing their taxes. The masks we donate are being utilised by the staff and volunteers on-site and being distributed to clients, allowing The Compass to continue serving their community while keeping everyone safe.
Edmonton's Food Bank has had to make a number of operational changes as part of their response to Covid-19. In addition to making sanitiser, face masks, and gloves available for all staff and volunteers, they have gone the extra step of implementing touchless faucets, widening aisles, and reorganising their service and storage areas to allow for more contactless activity at the front- and back-end. The masks we provide are going to clients and volunteers across 250 partner agencies to act as a more affordable and sustainable replacement to the disposable masks that are currently being utilised. This is especially prevalent as the City of Edmonton has made mask-wearing mandatory in public spaces, and providing these long-term tools allows Edmonton's Food Bank to stay abreast of the situation to help them better serve their clients.
The Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta (EDSNA) is a non-profit organization and a registered charity dedicated to providing meaningful support to those affected– directly and indirectly– by eating disorders. The EDSNA provides information, guidance, a provincial voice, a community hub and most of all, support. They offer professionally-facilitated support groups in Edmonton, Calgary and online. EDSNA promotes awareness about eating disorders and strengthens relationships between community partners and treatment professionals to create a more effective voice for eating disorders.
A wonderful organisation that provides residential living for 25 2SLGBTQ+ youths. As part of a special partnership started for Pride Month, we designed a Pride Mask just for them and each one sold donated a mask to one of their youths, because everyone deserves to be loved and respected.
Inspired by the volunteering experiences of one of our founders, we have donated masks to the North York Harvest Food Bank to help them continue to provide services to their clients. Adapting to Covid-19, they held a virtual food drive instead of an in-person drive, with the goal of raising cash donations so that they can purchase food themselves for people in need.
As one of the largest food banks in Toronto, they have seen their monthly visits rise from 15,000 to 20,000 visits per week. To help cope, they have launched multiple strategies including allowing people to set up custom donation pages for online fundraising and ordering groceries at supermarkets and have it delivered to their warehouses. To support their efforts, we have donated masks to them to help them continue to serve their clients and work with their member agencies.