When the pandemic struck CREW had been working with residents in Toronto’s St. James Town for more than four years. Work had been focused on preparing residents for climate emergencies and building a network of key volunteers and volunteer teams in several of St. James Town’s high-rise apartment buildings.
CREW volunteers had learned how to work together and had effective instant communications channels through WhatsApp. They were able to organize very quickly to help a local service agency distribute food in response to great and growing need.
Since then CREW continues to respond to the need for food. We have also implemented online social virtual-connections for residents who in some cases had never been online before by providing computer devices and wifi service. Now that the good weather is here we’re back to tending our pollinator gardens. That makes for great social interaction, even when we’re masked and keeping our distance.
We are very grateful for funding from United Way of Greater Toronto, MakeWay Response & Recovery, and the Government of Canada’s Covid-19 Response Fund for their support of this work.