In these challenging times of social distance and self-isolation to avoid the spread of infection from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19), we know that relationships are key to growth and development, and we continue to encourage the bonds of social interaction, albeit in a new and digital way.
As a country, we must collectively adjust our way of life as we deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. As infection rates continue to rise, our federal and provincial governments are adopting drastic measures to curb the spread of this disease.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and our federated agencies recognize the severity of the threat COVID-19 poses for our staff, agencies, and families, young people, and volunteers we serve. The health and well-being of Canadians, especially the most vulnerable among us is top priority.
The BBBSC National Office is taking direct action to lessen the risk of exposure to our staff and community by following recommendations from Public Health officials. We are doing our part to #flattenthecurve and keep everyone safe by moving fully to a virtual office, restricting travel, moving our place-based events to virtual, and implementing exemptions to in-person requirements for matches until further notice.
We know this is a stressful time and social distancing and isolation can have a big impact on individual and community well-being. We encourage everyone to strengthen their relationships using the digital tools available to us. Though we are encouraged to keep our distance to prevent the spread, we can still connect with a phone call, text message, video chat, and shared online experiences. As the experts on relationships, we know simple touchpoints like these can have a positive effect and can help all of us to get through these trying times.
The efforts to curb the spread of COVID 19 in Canada will have an impact on agency work in community to build and maintain strong mentor relationships between volunteers, young people and their families. This important work will need to continue after this pandemic is stabilized. Our young people will need the support of a mentor now more than ever to cope with these challenging times of change and uncertainty.
As we practice social distancing and refrain from congregating in large groups, agencies have responsibly cancelled, or postponed various fundraising activities planned for the coming months in their communities. Without this crucial fundraising period, many agencies will suffer and struggle to help the young people they serve. If you can, please consider donating directly to agencies in your community here.
The more we can encourage people to stay connected, strengthen their communication, and develop goals for their time together, the better their outcomes will be after this situation has passed. We are doing all we can to support the safety and health of our staff, our volunteers, young people and their families. We are #BiggerTogether.