The COVID-19 crisis has presented us with an enormous challenge to overcome, but it has also highlighted what an incredible community of supporters, donors, and fundraisers we have here at Grand River Hospital. One of the first groups to kick into action was the Waterloo Region Chinese Community Association (WCCA), a nonprofit organization with over 3000 members.
The WCCA spent January and February of this year communicating about COVID-19 and providing support to Waterloo residents who were in self-isolation or quarantine. In March, they began looking into other ways to help protect the local community. The WCCA contacted Grand River Hospital to find out how they could help.
On March 19, a week after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the WCCA launched a GoFundMe page, with every penny raised going to Grand River Hospital. They promoted their fundraising page primarily by word of mouth, and before long they had brought in over $35,000 in donations!
The money WCCA raised for Grand River Hospital enabled the purchase and transport of much needed disposable protective masks, face shields, sanitizers, gowns, eyewear, and gloves for our doctors, nurses, and medical staff members, at a time when this equipment was in very short supply. They also helped us translate the Chinese packaging for our staff.
WCCA vice president Yan Li was not at all surprised at the success of their fundraising push for our hospital. “Everyone felt a responsibility and obligation towards the community and wanted to fight COVID-19 with unity and contributions,” explains Li. “WCCA members are very heartfelt. They are a fantastic community with wonderful people.”
Throughout April and May, the WCCA continued to provide support for frontline workers, including our doctors and nurses. This included a hosting a Zoom forum to offer mental health assistance to frontline workers. They also provided little packets of goodies to frontline workers on Mother’s Day. In June, they continued to provide support; in addition, they focused on alleviating the challenges faced by food banks in the area.
The WCCA are determined to continue to work with our hospital and the community in order to help defeat this virus. As Li says: ”Together, we fight, we are stronger, and we will win.”
Thank you WCCA for your incredible support!