COVID-19 is quite the paradox. Its dangerous journey is covert yet revealing; silent yet piercing. It secretly attacks individuals without warning yet boldly exposes society’s injustices. It forces people to be isolated and excluded yet has united communities to step up and take action to help one another. With the remains of this upheaval, a solid foundation for positive change has emerged. Here are five local organizations that have accepted the challenge head-on to help those in need
Justice for Migrant Farm Workers (J4MW)
Justice for Migrant Farm Workers (J4MW) is a national organization with a strong presence in the Windsor/Essex region. Recently during the month of June, the group organized a caravan and a walk to protest the mistreatment of vulnerable migrant workers in the agri-farm sector. Victims of harassment, lack of decent housing, and denial of necessary tools and resources to prevent and combat COVID-19 are just some of the injustices that migrant workers must endure at the expense of providing fresh Ontario produce. J4MW has been fighting for their dignity and right to fair working conditions in a system that has been marred long before COVID-19. For more information on how to help this cause, please visit harvestingfreedom.org.
Essex County Mutual Aid
Essex County Mutual Aid is a volunteer-based group that offers help to the at-risk with various services, including grocery store and pharmacy shopping and home delivery, childcare assistance and home check-ins. The group also has a Greenhouse task force to help provide much-needed services and resources to migrant workers in the community. Visit www.facebook.com/essexcountymutualaid to find out more details on how to volunteer or how to access their services.
Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation
Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation has established a COVID-19 Assistance Fund that accepts three different donations of choice. The first is a monetary contribution to assist with purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other support needs for hospital staff members. The second is to help provide actual PPE—products such as hand disinfectant, nitrile gloves, safety goggles, and handmade masks are just some items on their wish list. Lastly, donations of food are welcome to assist those facing meal shortages in the community. Please visit www.wrh.on.ca/COVID19AssistanceFund for further details.
The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County
The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County has launched a COVID Response Fund to help frontline workers and patients receive the supplies and equipment that are currently in demand. The Hospice of Windsor and Essex has been a pillar of the community for over four decades. Their commitment to supporting the comfort and well-being of patients and their families has never wavered, especially throughout the pandemic’s instability. To contribute online monetary donations, please visit their website at www.thehospice.ca/donation-6/hospice-covid-19-response-fund/donate.
The United Way Centraide Windsor-Essex
The United Way Centraide Windsor-Essex and their Covid-19 Emergency Response Initiative is looking for monetary donations or grocery gift cards. Also, they ask for help from volunteers to sign up for various tasks, depending on individual interests and skillsets. A list of resources and contacts can be accessed on their website for those seeking counselling, up-to-date health information, and financial relief services. A dedicated Facebook page is also available for people to list their needs and concerns to receive support.