Many residents have indicated that they would like to support their fellow residents who may be struggling because of the containment measures in our community.
Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa, and the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC) are NOT seeking volunteers to help at this time with the response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We recognize the generosity of those looking to volunteer and thank you for your offer to help as the people of Ottawa deal with the spread of COVID-19.
Ottawa Community and Social Services has set up a Human Needs Task Force. Read about here.
The following organizations have ways that you can make a difference by donating or volunteering:
- Volunteer Ottawa: If you are in good health with no symptoms or exposure to COVID19 and are interested in volunteering, please consider contacting Volunteer Ottawa to pursue local opportunities as they arise. Volunteer Ottawa has established a pool of pre-screened volunteers and will continue to accept new applicants.
- Champlain Community Support Network (CCSN) Volunteer Ottawa and the Champlain Community Support Network (CCSN) announced enhanced platforms to recruit and deploy volunteers in response to COVID-19 related needs. Volunteer Ottawa will recruit, screen and train volunteers to meet a diverse range of identified needs across the region while CCSN will seek volunteers to support seniors and adults with disabilities.
- Blood Services: Because all blood drives are cancelled due to social distancing, Canadian Blood Services is looking for blood donations – donating blood in Canada continues to be safe
- Ottawa Food Bank
- United Way The City and United Way of Eastern Ontario are developing a plan to support volunteer coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- FAMSAC Food Cupboard is a community service, operated by local volunteers and supported entirely within the community. FAMSAC is always in need of volunteers.
Social Media is an excellent way to keep in touch. The following Facebook Groups were started:
- CareMongering-Ott: About: The goal of this group is to organize the local community on the grassroots level to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, housing, healthcare, and other necessities.
- COVID-19 Community Care: About: Outbreaks can be really scary and really isolating… especially ones that encourage social isolation as a means of safety. This group is designed to facilitate community during this difficult time
City of Ottawa Key Messages: COVID-19 Volunteering
- If you are looking to support your community during this critical time, you can help by checking in with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help. Please be mindful of social distancing recommendations given by Ottawa Public Health at OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Self-Isolate to help lower your risk.
- It is important to note that if you are volunteering, you could be exposed to the virus. Please make sure to monitor for symptoms, and when in doubt, please follow the guidance about self-isolation provided by Ottawa Public Health OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Self-Isolate.
- Please do not volunteer if you have symptoms (fever, new onset of cough or difficulty breathing), if you have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or if you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada, including the United States. In this case, it is recommended you self-isolate for 14 days.
- Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa are NOT seeking volunteers to help at this time with the response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We recognize the generosity of those looking to volunteer and thank you for your offer to help as the people of Ottawa deal with the spread of COVID-19.
- Please consider social distancing to help decrease transmission of COVID-19. Social distancing involves limiting the number of people you come into close contact with by avoiding non-essential trips in the community. Where possible, maintain a one to two-metre distance from others.
- The best way to help with the
response is to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health to decrease transmission:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth unless you just cleaned your hands
- Cover coughs and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
- If possible, stay home if you are sick
- Get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating
- If you have symptoms, visit the Ottawa Public Health page for more information about what you need to do, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
The City has launched a formal donation process for businesses and residents to donate commercial-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect our emergency responders and front-line workers supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response.
This formal donation process has been established in response to the many residents and businesses who have contacted the City through many channels with donation offerings.
The PPE supplies must be commercial-grade and in its original packaging. These items include, but are not limited to:
- N95 masks (1870+ or 1805)
- Surgical masks
- Procedural masks
- Face shields
- Protective gowns
- Protective goggles and glasses
- Hand sanitizers
- Disinfectant wipes
Homemade personal protective equipment will not be accepted.
To donate, we ask interested businesses and residents to email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide information on the items and quantities. The City will review donations offered and arrange with you for a drop-off or pick-up of the items.
The City is also in constant communication with The Ottawa Hospital, which is collecting, processing and storing all donated medical equipment, to help supply the many front-line healthcare staff across the Eastern Ontario region who are responding to the pandemic. You can contact The Ottawa Hospital at COVIDdonations@toh.ca.
How you can help other community agencies and charities
Many community agencies, non-profit organizations and charities are also working to help our community through this COVID-19 pandemic, especially our community’s vulnerable people in need of support. You can contact the agencies with donation of items and monetary contributions.