With the COVID-19 virus still rampant, the Peer Medical Foundation’s volunteer, Jeninaah, as part of the Peer Med Impact Committee created the Community Support Packages to help the homeless & crisis shelters in the Pickering, Ontario community!
The project was born after she realized the implications the pandemic had on homeless and crisis shelters, which placed not only the inhabitants at risk but also the dedicated front-line staff who continue to provide services caring for people in these shelters. As such, she sought donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, gloves, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and/or monetary donations to purchase supplies. Seeing the urgent need, the Community Support Packages Project was created to support the local community of heroes.
On April 15, 2022, 50 hand-curated Community Support Packages were donated to individuals in need near public stations, and shelters as well as to frontline healthcare workers passing by. After receiving funding from the RisingYouth community service grant, Jeninaah spent weeks gathering facial covering masks, travel-size sanitizers, wet wipes, and packets of tissues and was even able to include small bandaid packets into these customized individual care packages. Jeninaah, a final-year high school student states “It was scary to think about the lack of PPE at the shelters and the increase in prices for these basic necessities. I felt compelled to want to support my community and so I designed these Community Support Packages guided by the Peer Medical Foundation’s Impact Committee. ”
The Community Support Packages were organized into ziplock bags with a unique floral sticker on each one. Aga, Director of Memberships at the Peer Medical Foundation adds “With the intention to relieve the burden off of shelters and workers, who already endure so much to provide those at-risk with the necessary care, it has been rewarding to see Jeninaah transform her project from ideation into action. Overlooking her work, I am proud to have supported her impactful cause making a difference in her Pickering community.”. The high school student put a lot of thought into the project and will carry these lessons with her as she volunteers for other causes and gives back to her community.
At the Peer Medical Foundation, we are very excited to have made a difference in the lives of people and can not wait for future opportunities to give back to the local communities in need as we strive to support patients wherever they are and especially children, adolescents, and youth who may be even more vulnerable during these challenging times.