During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a steady stream of new and evolving information. From updates on the number of cases, new restrictions and guidelines, and new relief programs, Albertans have had to keep up with an ever-changing situation. Monitoring and navigating these new circumstances can be difficult and time-consuming. For those whose first language isn’t English, this can be especially challenging.
Across Alberta, communities have come together to process all of this information and find effective ways to disseminate it to one another. Some have started community Facebook groups to share information and support one another. Others have been busy translating the government updates into different languages so that every Albertan can stay up to date with what is happening, regardless of their English-language skills. These volunteers are ensuring that every Albertan has access to important COVID-19 information and resources.
The Albertan Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program recognizes the following amazing Albertans for their efforts on this front:
For chronic pain sufferers, Calgary’s Tracy Fossum has become a trusted source of information, support and advocacy for her fellow Calgarians and Albertans beyond the city’s borders. Opening up her Facebook group to support those dealing with chronic pain and immune issues, she has expanded her reach and resources to Albertans at higher risk for COVID-19 complications.
Created by Cheryl Bishop, the Airdrie: Helping Neighbors Affected by Covid-19 Facebook group has become an information hub for its more than 1,500 members. Cheryl’s initiative is helping to connect seniors and residents who are in isolation or whose health may be compromised with volunteers who can help. Visitors to the well-managed Facebook group can also find or offer resources, get details on local events and community programming, and discover small and home-based businesses offering locally-based services.
The volunteer communications team at Synergy Youth and Community Development, a youth organization in Chestermere, has been creating videos and social media posts to promote leadership and wellness in the community. During the pandemic, this group has been instrumental in getting out a strong message – particularly to youth – promoting positivity, preventing the spread and hope for a bright future.
The Edmonton Mauritian Association has worked with the Mauritian community to provide information and resources to those in need, as well as distributing 15 laptops to students so that they can continue their classes online.
Through his website, Communities in Motion, Lethbridge’s Ron DeGagne is touching the lives of both young and not so young. Along with coordinating a range of initiatives from peer-to-peer support and youth reading programs to curating messages to help support seniors and Canada’s military, Ron is creating awareness of the importance of mental health – by providing links to resources to assist some of Alberta’s most vulnerable who are dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ron’s efforts are helping to build a stronger, more connected Alberta.
With news coming fast and furious, Leduc’s Dawn Macdougall cut through the clutter to help Albertans stay informed and up to date on COVID-19-related government supports. Through her Facebook group, Dawn provided information by summarizing federal and provincial government news releases and answering question to bring clarity and understanding on available programs for those struggling to cope with the time demands and stress of the pandemic.
Providing translation services, the Edmonton branch of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services (UCSS) has worked to ensure that Ukrainian-speaking Albertans and those across Canada were able to access important COVID-related information. Through their website, UCSS volunteers are providing updates on support programs and tips on how to apply.
Nominate a volunteer
Honour the contributions of an amazing individual or group.
Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program
How to volunteer
For contact information, visit Volunteering during COVID-19.