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Community connection through COVID-19

Your support has been sustaining YSM through this challenging COVID-19 crisis. We cannot thank our generous donors enough for the ways you have reached out to support neighbours struggling with poverty. From notes of blessing and encouragement to financial gifts, donations of food and supplies to rallying the community online, all are providing YSM with needed resources to ensure our struggling neighbours are continually cared for.

With our services modified for safety, and an increase in need as many struggle to get the resources they need, YSM’s associated costs have also risen. In order to meet the growing need and ensure healthy, fresh options, we are currently procuring and purchasing 30% of the food required, including fresh produce, dairy and protein. This is resulting in an increased, unbudgeted cost of $10,000 per week, for food, above our annual Food Bank budget of $30,000.

Our Food Bank is not the only service to shift its model to continue serving. Our Care Managers and Daycare staff have been spending time with community members through phone or video conferencing. These connections are so important, as many in our community are struggling in isolation.

YSM community member with coffee

Similarly, YSM’s Computer Lab has taken to YouTube to continue teaching computer skills to children and adults who attend their classes. Their first online class, Game Development, was uploaded on April 23rd. After the video went up, a parent excitedly emailed YSM staff a video of their child’s finished project. The Computer Lab continues to upload new classes and connect with those learning from home.

YSM staff give thumbs up to community member at the Food Bank

YSM’s OVOL (Our Voice Out Loud) program has introduced Instagram Live sessions, hosting a podcast style show where teens in the community can askas healthcare. They’ve created a fun space where the community can connect to one another and continue building positive relationships. “The youth felt like they were missing out, and were worried and didn’t know what was going to happen during this pandemic,” say Cristihan, YSM Community Capacity Builder. “So we have been responding by focusing on two things when we do OVOL TV – having fun and providing information.”

We are so thankful YSM and those we serve aren’t facing this challenge alone. Everyone who supports YSM, in any way, have been making a vital difference, a difference in the life of someone like Cheryl:

“I’d just like to thank everybody for their tireless effort during the COVID-19 crisis. A lot of the people here don’t have family and YSM is vital to our survival at this very difficult time. So I would just like to extend a heartfelt thank you.”

Learn more about our services throughout COVID here.