The LaSalle Multicultural Resource Center (LMRC), joined forces with members of the community in curating a response to the global pandemic, COVID-19 by supplying food to the less fortunate members of the community.
The current crisis shut down various public programs including the LMRC’s food distribution programs. In the face of the pandemic some parents also lost their jobs and were left with the task of providing for themselves and the children.
Recognizing that the pandemic exacerbated individuals psychosocial stress causing domestic conflict, the LMRC with the help of volunteers drafted an outreach plan to serve the vulnerable in the community.
Members of the LMRC adjusted their services to a vigorous COVID-19 prevention awareness program by telephone reminders, simplifying Public Health information and disseminating to residences and uploading on the LMRC website, Facebook, and putting flyers in weekly food supply boxes which helped many people become more alert in complying with safety regulations
Also they have been providing tele counselling and academic homework support for some of the youth in the area. And had volunteers available to help the physically challenged with groceries and delivery and distribution of gloves, sanitizers and masks.
According to administrators at LMRC the organization’s board room where seniors computer course and children tutoring were held was transferred overnight to a food supply room, and its administrative office became the sanitary/hygiene product supply room with items stacked on desks, conference table, floors, even chairs were used for boxes of supplies.
And the organization kept its phones open 24/7 with volunteers and staff ready to respond to emergency calls to deliver supplies or make ‘tele-interventions’ to meet families needs even on weekends.
In a recent statement administrators outlined the extent of their service to the community:
“We rotated shoppers weekly to make supply purchases at local stores, we supplied masks, gloves and sanitizers. LMRC office overnight became a food and product supply center as well as a clothing and furniture depot since during deliveries we realized that some families needed mattresses, furniture, pillows and blankets, so people responded to our plea and donated these items which we delivered to the families together with boxes of food to their doors weekly for the past 10 weeks. With the aftermath of this pandemic, and people still out of work, LMRC hopes to secure adequate funding to prolong this support to families a while longer to help them readjust to this new norm.”
The initiative also provided work for a single mother of four young children a refugee claimant who was hired to sort, pack and accompany the driver to deliver supplies to families.
Among the many long standing fearless volunteers who sprung into action together with community partners of the LMRC are Bhai Harjeet Singh from Gurdwara Gurdwana Gurunanak Darbar, Father Jerry, Patrick Taugher and Wendy Desousa from St John Brebeuf Church, Hope Society, Social Justice, LMRC worker Maria Chouchtari, Ogechukukw Chikelie hired for this task, Pharama- prix Airlie David Diaco and his team from “Teens Helping Seniors in LaSalle” Annie Cunningham and husband, Sharmila Brijodhan and daughter from Shimmers Salon, helping to deliver food boxes, Angelo from Uniprix Airlie, Dino from Intermarche Palumbo, John from Scores Newman, Margaret from Marche EHI and Maya Jaber from Adonis all assisted LMRC in making a difference in LaSalle residences’ lives.
As expected, many individuals and families were grateful for the assistance especially in these challenging times and expressed their gratitude by email, notes, phone calls as well as on Facebook. Some were placed on the LMRC website.
Administrators say it was most heart-warming receiving feedback from recipients who are new immigrants and spoke neither French nor English but found special ways to communicate their gratitude.
The LMRC can be reached at (514) 367-3383 or email@example.com