Canadian kindness during coronavirus pandemic

May 20th, 2020

It is easy to get jaded by all the negativity the coronavirus pandemic has caused in our everyday lives, as a result, we forget how in times of crisis there presents an opportunity for human kindness to reveal itself.

Canadians are often perceived as being polite, kind, and generous. Many of us take modest pride in this fact, and subliminally it leads us to perpetuate that image through acts of goodwill.

From the sea of negativity in media reports, there exists a few pearls; stories of Canadians helping the most vulnerable and spreading positivity during these difficult times.

Take the Winnipeg seamstress, Suhaiba Ahmed, who donated nearly 300 masks to the Immigrant, and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. Her small business was shut down due to a public health order, and so she has been paying for the materials with the business subsidy funds she is receiving from the Canadian government.

Or Mita Hans who set up the first “Caremongering” Facebook group out of Toronto that sparked a social media movement across Canada. The idea is to connect vulnerable people and individuals who are able and willing to help in their community. The BBC reported cases where people were cooking meals for those who were unable, donating gift cards to someone who was laid off, standing in line at the grocery store to buy food for a single mother’s baby, and other heart-warming stories.

If you walk down the streets of Montreal, Quebec, you will likely come across a window that is decorated with a drawing of a rainbow arched above the words, “Ça va bien aller.” In English, this could be translated to “Everything will be alright.”

The woman who is responsible for this popular message of hope in Montreal is Gabriella Cucinelli, who was inspired by a similar image that she saw in an Italian newspaper. She got her kids to draw the rainbow and translate the inscription to French, it was then shared on social media and took off.

Of course, these are many more stories than what the media can pick up. There are also countless settlement organizations and other non-profits across the country are still working to help immigrants with the particular challenges newcomers face.

We are all in the same storm, but we are not on the same boat. I encourage my fellow Canadians to reach out to one another, and especially newcomers, and show the world that kindness is part of what it means to be Canadian.

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