Although many Canadians are social distancing, you can still volunteer, be a good neighbour, and care for animals in your new-found free time.
During times of crisis, the positive effects of reaching out and doing good deeds pay dividends – for yourself and for your community.
Put your new-found free time to good use and make a difference while social distancing. Here’s how!
Volunteer or Donate
SPARK and the Government of Ontario are connecting volunteers with community response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider volunteering your time toward one of these opportunities, or delivering food and medicine or helping those in your community run errands. Check out Volunteer Ottawa’s website for more opportunities in the national capital region.
In addition, the federal government is also seeking medical students and retirees with medical experience to provide backup support in the fight against COVID-19. Health Canada is creating a database of specialized volunteers that provinces and territories can draw on to help track down people who have been in contact with positive cases, collect data and provide surge capacity at hospitals.
And consider taking our lead and make a financial donation toward a cause that you care about. CAA North & East Ontario has recently donated $1,000 each to 12 foodbanks in our region. Consider donating your CAA Dollars® to a foodbank in your community. Simply complete the donation form here, and we’ll do the rest.
Be a Good Neighbor
Take some time to reach out. Call your neighbors, especially the elderly and those who live alone, to make sure they’re doing okay. Having a conversation and connecting with others can help ease some feelings of isolation.
You can extend your reach even further by writing letters to people in nursing homes and retirement communities, since many residents can’t have visitors due to the risk.
Show medical professionals, emergency workers, grocery staff, and other essential employees your family’s appreciation by having your kids create thank-you art and posting it in the windows for passers-bys to see. It will hearten your whole community, and makes for an entertaining activity to pass the time.
Adopt or Foster Animals
Adopting or fostering an animal could be just what you need to flourish while social distancing.
Taking care of a furry friend will help keep you busy, and spending time with a companion animal can improve your mood. If you have kids at home, adopting a pet can become a great lesson in responsibility.
According to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, “there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit the virus to humans.”
There are many cats, dogs and other animals in need, and fostering or adoption can help. If you see yourself only having time for a pet during quarantine, and can’t offer a forever home, fostering may be the better option for you.
Due to nonessential business restrictions, many animal shelters are operating with a smaller staff. Be sure to call your local pet shelter in advance to ask about fostering/adopting, as they may be by appointment only. Or consider making a financial donation.
Although many Canadians are social distancing, you can still volunteer, be a good neighbour, and care for animals in your new-found free time. Doing so is good not only for your community, but for yourself, as well!