Caring close to home


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/06/2020 (1079 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As the world struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of attention is focused on governments. Clearly, there is an important role for governments in securing public health and supporting the economy in these challenging times.

But there is only so much that government can do. While there are legitimate debates to be had about what programs get good value for money, caring for the people in our community cannot happen without the involvement of people who live in our neighbourhood.
Elmwood–Transcona is blessed with many people who are rising to the occasion.

This includes all the people who have continued to work through the pandemic — healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, transportation workers, childcare workers and more.

It also includes people who assist the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Leilani Esteban-Villarba at Elmwood EK Active Living Centre has not stopped moving since the COVID shutdown in mid-March. Leilani (who is also the acting CEO of CNRC) has been in charge of implementing emergency response measures to address the many needs created by COVID-19.

Volunteers are picking up groceries and medications for shut-in residents and frozen meals are being delivered to area seniors in co-operation with Riverwood Church Community and the Elmwood Community Resource Centre.

Leilani is also the coordinator of the BAG program, whose mission is to provide the surrounding Elmwood community with fresh, low-cost fruits and vegetables.

Leilani is now concentrating on the phased-in reopening of the centre that so many seniors rely on.

The Transcona Food Bank at Transcona Memorial United Church has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic. With dozens of dedicated volunteers, like Don and Midge Barry, the food bank continues to feed up to 100 families. Elke Pielahn helped out by sewing reusable masks for all the volunteers, then she kept on sewing and exchanged masks for donations to the food bank.

Colleen Tackaberry of the Transcona Council of Seniors is helping people stay connected during this stressful time. Knowing that maintaining social contact is vital to a person’s wellbeing,

Colleen and volunteers make regular calls and emails to area seniors. If a need is found, volunteer drivers are available to run errands.

The seniors’ council also sponsors meals available for pick-up four days a week for community seniors. Colleen’s current project is to get safe, outdoor yoga sessions started for seniors.

As elected officials work to create caring public policy, these are just some examples of local heroes connecting with people in need and delivering immediate support.

Thank you to everyone who is going above and beyond to help out our neighbours.

Daniel Blaikie

Daniel Blaikie
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report

Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.

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