As a community we are all navigating the unknown and adapting to a new normal, with very little notice or preparation.
Inspired by the over 150 community and charitable organizations that we support in health care, education, the arts and sports, we are compiling links to resources and expert advice focused on helping our colleagues, our families and our communities adapt to COVID-19.
During these unprecedented and challenging times, more than ever we are here to support Canadians. We are actively finding ways we can make an immediate impact on those who need us most, within the communities we serve. A few ways that we are having an immediate impact:
- Offering portable storage services to hospitals and shelters
- Adapting with our community partners and continuing to support their fundraising efforts
- Adjusting our internal processes to ensure that our colleagues and customers are safe and receive continuity of service
- Supplying various hospitals with gowns, Tyvek suits, face mask, safety glasses and disinfectants
Working from Home and Decluttering
Working from Home
Life as we know it has been dramatically altered.
While there are positives aspects to working from home, abrupt change comes with many challenges, and places a new emphasis on the phrase “bringing your work home with you”.
Below are tips to help you be productive and efficient:
- Establish a routine, and stick to it
- Declutter and have a dedicated workspace (preferably one space per working adult)
- Set goals
- Get up and move periodically
- Check in with your colleagues, so that you stay connected
- Know when to log off, keeping clear lines between work and personal
- Have the right office supplies
For more information on how to be productive while working from home, please visit:
Decluttering Your Space
Working in a clean and organized environment offers offers peace of mind and allows you to focus on your priorities.
Below are tips to declutter your space and make room for a home office:
- Consider using a spare bedroom or ask the kids to temporarily share a bedroom so that you have a dedicated workspace.
- Involve the family in the decluttering project by asking each person to organize one area.
- To create an efficient and productive space, temporarily store your items at one of our 200 plus locations across Canada.
Children and E-Learning
Through our partnerships with community organizations, we are dedicated to helping children. Whether we are supporting a children’s rehab hospital, sponsoring a school fundraising ball tournament or participating in a school Spring Fair, we prioritize the needs of children, helping to ensure that they are healthy and have access to the educational tools required to succeed.
For many students, March 23rd signified a return to school; the first day of class after March Break and an opportunity to reconnect with friends and teachers. Instead, schools are closed and there is uncertainty about when they will reopen.
For many parents and teachers working to ensure that their children continue to learn, online resources are a good alternative. Government approved websites are available with Ministry-based tools which support e-learning. One such site is Ontario.ca/learnathome which enables students at every grade level to learn at home.
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization and a free resource. Receive answers to FAQs and download daily schedules for students ages 4 to 18.
Parents are encouraged to engage in open dialogue about Covid-19 with their children and to share their thoughts and feelings with each other. Additional resources and support is available, most notably Kids Help Phone, call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.
Do it Yourself Projects
While you are at home, consider a DIY project to update your home and provide a great sense of accomplishment.
Consider one of the following:
- Paint a room
- Declutter and build a closet system
- Add shelving for your basement storage
- Re-organize your garage
- Re-doing a floor
To explore ideas and how-to instructions, visit our friends at homedepot.ca
To facilitate and simplify your DIY project, Cubeit containers are an ideal temporary storage solution that are conveniently delivered to your home.
Physical Health and Family Activities
Undoubtedly Sport Unites Us!
We support all levels of sport across Canada from little league baseball and girl’s hockey, to elite curling tournaments and pro hockey teams such as the Edmonton Oilers.
This spring we planned on, and were excited about, supporting many local events and charitable fundraisers. As our community practices physical distancing, many of these initiatives are on hold or have been cancelled. As avid sports fans, we like many, are missing the sports community.
Proven to provide health benefits and positively impact our lives, regular exercise:
- Relieves stress
- Lessens anxiety and feelings of depression
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves sleep
Below are tips to stay active and healthy:
- Spend a few minutes stretching in morning
- As much as possible, get outside everyday
- Get up out of your chair (or off the couch) each and every hour
- Spend time with pets
- Find online virtual exercise and yoga classes
A strong sense of family and a commitment to community inspires our philanthropy. In the last 6 months we held a number of exciting events across Canada, for instance:
- Fall Fest in Burlington, with support for Reach Out Centre for Kids
- Holiday Fest in Edmonton to celebrate our new partnership with the Edmonton Oilers
- Skating Party on the Rideau Canal Skate Way as part of our partnership with the National Capital Commission.
These events brought us together in a fun, unique and engaging way.
Below are some fun and engaging activities you can enjoy with your family:
- Family ball hockey
- Board games
- Nature walks
- Sidewalk chalk messages and pictures
- Eye-spy games
For more ideas, visit our friends at Active For Life, they are a great resource for ideas on how to raise physically active literate kids.
Looking for alternative ideas? Consider virtual tours as an option to help entertain and educate kids. It’s a fun and unique way to spend some time together, some examples are listed below:
Hockey Hall of Fame:
Canadian Museum of History
Museum of Nature - mobile app
Mental Health and the Power of Music
So much has changed. Uncertainty and lack of control can take a toll, heightening levels of stress and anxiety.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is a valuable resource and offers the following tips on how to optimize your well-being:
- Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories
- Make sure you that are taking care of your body and mind by including exercise in your daily routine
- Take some time to unwind by connecting with others
To assess your mental health, follow this link
Please note that children may have concerns and feel anxious with the daily changes and limitations presented by COVID-19. To help them cope, Kids Help Phone suggests the following stress busters:
- Breathe deeply
- Pet a cat or dog
- Write it down or get artistic
- Laugh it off
You will find access to additional resources here
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Text: CONNECT to 686868
Another outstanding resource is the following document published by the World Health Organization “Helping Children Cope with Stress”:
Power of Music
We are proud supporters of Canada's Largest Free Music Festival. Each June, more than 200,000 people join together to celebrate all genres of music. As a stage sponsor, we are honoured to be part of this great event.
During these changing times, it gives us pause to view music as a form of therapy and as a way to productively occupy our time. For instance, consider learning to play an instrument or revisit the music of a favourite artist.
Music has the power to unite people and we are committed to supporting the arts. As a tribute to the musicians, we would like to share the following with you.
Max Kerman of The Arkells has been using online tutorials to connect with fans and run music classes. Visit the Arkells Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Arkells/ to follow along.
Music can also be used as a sleep aid. Read more athttps://www.unr.edu/counseling/virtual-relaxation-room/releasing-stress-through-the-power-of-music
Take some time away from the News and listen to Music!
Supporting the Elderly and the Community
Supporting the Elderly
As champions for elderly residents, together with our friends at the Golden Link Lodge in Winnipeg, we were planning an exciting event to raise funds for their long-term residence.
The Government's preventative action to control the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of schools and non-essential businesses. This has placed many communities in a state of emergency and left some of our fellow citizens, especially the elderly, feeling isolated and lonely. As we reflect on ways to support each other, we wanted to share a few ideas on ways you can help.
- Call or Skype elderly friends and relatives.
- Offer to pick up basic necessities such as prescriptions or help arrange to have them delivered.
- Schedule daily mealtimes and share them through Facetime or Skype.
- Over Facetime or Skype, have kids share activities like colouring, drawing, music, karate, reading or bedtime stories.
- Always be a friendly and welcoming voice in a time of great uncertainty and anxiety.
Supporting the Community
As part of our many ongoing community initiatives, over the next few months we were planning to participate in many events such as;
- Hike for Hospice in Calgary (now changed to a virtual Hike!)
- Motorcycle Ride for Dad (to raise funds for prostate cancer research)
- Ribfest in many cities
- MS walks and rides in Alberta Relay for Life (to raise funds for cancer research)
- Charity golf tournaments across Canada and so much more
The impact of COVID-19 has touched everyone and we are mindful of our collective need to implement physical distance to flatten the curve.
With this in mind, here are ways that you can support your community while staying at home.
- Call a neighbour or elderly friend and offer your friendly voice and a virtual smile
- Donate goods and funds
- Donate blood, visit https://www.blood.ca/en for details
- Look for e-volunteering listings:
- Food Bank
- Provincial agencies such as SparkOntario with positions for Meals on Wheels and Telephone Reassurance caller postings
- Local community by tutoring, music lessons, counselling
We are privileged to partner with so many wonderful agencies and charitable organizations and appreciate being an ever present, positive influence in the lives of so many.
Together we are stronger!