After COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic earlier this year, it seemed like life itself was brought to a halt. The pandemic greatly impacted the global economy, businesses of all sizes, and society as a whole. Ongoing travel restrictions, city-wide lockdowns, 14-day quarantines, and the closures of nonessential establishments quickly became the norm. After a few months, the collective efforts to flatten the curve seemed to have paid off; numbers of infections declined many parts of the world and communities began to reopen with social distancing precautions in place.
Second waves, however, are common for viral infections like COVID-19. In fact, many countries are currently experiencing the expected second wave of the virus. Currently, Canada is on this list; sadly, the number of infections within this second wave is growing at almost twice the speed compared to the first wave in the country, rising to crisis status in highly-populated areas.
With the second wave top of mind, the KASE Insurance team thought carefully about what we could do to help give back to our community, what vulnerable members were most in need, and what we could offer. With this in mind, we planned and executed our charity initiative, KASE Cares: Kits for a Cause.
KASE Cares: Kits for a Cause is one of a number of charitable initiatives that are executed by the team at KASE Insurance. This year, after considering the COVID-19 pandemic and its second wave, we knew that our initiative needed to be properly aligned. Therefore, on October 16, 2020, we chose to donate 100+ hygiene kits to support vulnerable women in the community who are at a higher risk of transmission.
In order to provide these kits to women most in need, KASE worked with Street Haven Shelter, an emergency shelter providing housing to women experiencing homelessness and/or poverty. They provided us with the information we needed to ensure our kits supplied the right tools to empower these women and continue helping them feel safe during the pandemic.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we are all connected in some way. That’s why we believe that this simple act of support will ripple out and positively affect the entire community. Especially during times like this, with people losing their jobs, some of us are unable to pay rent, that we stay humble; every act of kindness helps.
COVID-19 has been tough on all of us; even more so for the homeless community. Across Canada, there are over 200,000 people who experience homelessness with around 130,000 residing in emergency shelters. Of those residing in emergency shelters, 25% are women and children who have left living situations after experiencing some form of abuse.
Certain unavoidable factors put those living in shelters at a heightened risk for infection due to crowded living conditions, lack of isolation facilities and supplies, and overall poor health. Given the challenges that these individuals have faced and are facing each day, it would be heartbreaking to see them suffer the brunt of the pandemic as well - especially now that we are in the second wave of COVID-19.
We knew that this was an opportunity for us to give back and make a positive impact. From this experience, we can honestly say that we’ve also gained something valuable during this experience - and that is humility and thankfulness. It truly feels wonderful to work together as a team and with our partners, to help those in need. We invite everyone to do the same!
To meet the goals of our initiative, we partnered with Kits for a Cause. They are a division of the Bargains Group, a Canadian company that provides non-profits and social services with needed supplies - such as hygiene products, school supplies, and clothing items.
Kits for a Cause helped us get started with our charitable drive by supplying us with the items for the kits, provided insight on what to include in our kits, and connected us with Street Haven Shelter, where we dropped off the kits.
We arranged a kit-packing event that involved members of our team here at KASE Insurance. During this event, all proper health precautions were in place to ensure the safety of all individuals (e.g. social distancing, wearing PPE, and limiting the number of people involved).
We assembled a small team to deliver the kits to Street Haven Shelter where they distributed them to the women residing there. At the end of our event, we were able to successfully put together 100+ hygiene kits with items that were greatly needed for the community.
Street Haven Shelter is a women’s shelter located at 87 Pembroke St. in Toronto. They provide women with a safe place to sleep, nourishing meals, and various other basic living needs. Like many similar facilities, help is always welcome.
This is where we dropped off the 100+ hygiene kits that were lovingly and meticulously assembled by the team, in hopes to raise awareness about this cause and encourage others to do the same. We’re already looking forward to the next one!