In Whistler, as in many communities, the holidays inspire immense generosity when it comes to social services.
“It really provokes a time of giving and supporting our community,” said Jackie Dickinson, executive director of the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS).
“More than ever this year, though, the need continues past the holiday season.”
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented demand on WCSS services, including the Whistler Food Bank, in 2020.
While demand has dropped since the record-breaking totals seen in spring (including 1,432 in-person visits in one month alone), surging cases in recent months have led to new challenges, Dickinson said.
“What we have seen since the beginning of January is a surge in deliveries (to people isolating due to COVID-19),” Dickinson said.
“This is unlike anything we’ve seen throughout the pandemic.”
With no end in sight, the Brew Creek Centre is matching all cash donations to the Whistler Food Bank up to $50,000 until Jan. 31.
“A campaign like this is so relevant right now to keep those donations coming in so we can continue to do that important work,” Dickinson said.
“And it raises a lot of awareness that, yeah, the need for our food bank program has not decreased after the holidays. If anything, especially for those food bank deliveries, [it is] on the rise.”
The Brew Creek Centre has also supported WCSS with ready-made meals and snacks for clients, Dickinson added.
“Every department from housekeeping to catering has played a role in producing fresh and nutritious meals for our community; it has also been a gift of purpose for our team through uncertain times,” said Brew Creek Centre general manager Liza Walli, in a release.
“We hope that our food bank donation matching program will encourage our generous businesses and neighbours to donate and double the difference they can make for those who need it most.”
While several Whistler businesses and institutions have had to close their doors recently due to COVID—including the team at Whistler Animals Galore, which announced on Facebook on Jan. 23 that it will be closed until further notice—WCSS staff have yet to be heavily impacted.
“We’re working in partnership with the infection control and protection team with Vancouver Coastal Health, so they come and review our protocols to ensure that as we continue to support the community, we’re putting safety at the forefront,” Dickinson said.
“We really have to recognize that our social enterprises and our doors are open for in-person support, and making sure those protocols are in place so that our staff stays safe.
“Our goal is to keep doing what we’re doing, and we feel fortunate to do it.”
Make a donation at www.mywcss.org.
Published at Mon, 25 Jan 2021 19:58:00 +0000