April 16, 2020 – The arrival of COVID-19 in Niagara changed life as we all know it. In addition to the threat it poses to the health and safety of the community, the pandemic forced the closure of schools and altered the way education is delivered. However, there is one thing the pandemic could not change: the unbreakable culture of caring that exists at the DSBN. The leadership of students and staff led to the creation of DSBN Cares, resulting in a powerful show of support and solidarity for the healthcare heroes in our community working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an employee-driven fundraising initiative, DSBN Cares provides financial support to families with necessities such as groceries and clothing. Inspired by the enthusiasm of staff to help the community, the DSBN looked for ways it could participate. Knowing the intense need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Ontario, staff combed through its stores of PPE from its service centres and elementary and secondary schools for surplus PPE. In doing so, the DSBN gathered an estimated $40,000 worth of PPE that could go towards supporting healthcare workers. The donation, made to the Niagara Health Foundation (NHF), includes gloves, N95 masks, sanitizer, and other equipment to help keep Niagara Health’s staff and physicians safe.
“This is what is meant by the expression ‘we’re all in this together.’ Every person, every organization has an important role to play in slowing the spread of the virus and keeping our community safe,” said Board Chair Sue Barnett of the donation. “We’re very proud to do what we can to support Niagara Health, and by extension, our students, families, and larger community.”
Building on its support for Niagara Health, the DSBN is making an additional contribution of $50,000 to NHF to help purchase resources needed to care for patients in Niagara. This donation was made possible through the fundraising efforts by the DSBN through the DSBN’s annual International Concussion Summit; public dollars for student learning were not part of this contribution.
Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Director of Education, says he’s grateful to the students and staff for making this donation possible. “DSBN students and staff are integral members of their communities. They regularly show good citizenship by organizing community clean ups, food drives, and volunteering to support important causes. This is a time of great need in our community and once again, our students and staff have found a way to show their support.”
NHF has launched an online community campaign to help support Niagara Health in their efforts to combat COVID-19.
“We are deeply grateful for the support we have received from DSBN,” says Roger Ali, President and CEO of Niagara Health Foundation. “During these difficult times, the Foundation continues to carry out its work supporting our medical teams and hospitals, which is becoming more critical by the day. This donation will help purchase life-saving equipment, that will help frontline staff respond to COVID-19.”
The Foundation is collecting donations to help purchase equipment and PPE. Funds raised will directly help patients at Niagara Health who have been diagnosed with the virus.
To join the fight against COVID-19 and help support Niagara Health, please visit http://www.SupportNHF.com to make a donation towards urgently needed medical equipment, such as beds, ventilators, and life-saving equipment