March 28, 2020

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5-6:  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, (NRSV)

And today: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to embrace and a time to refrain fro embracing, a time to gather and hoard and a time to give away.

As Canadians quickly organize and reorganize to emergency and emerging situation facing them and the world, the “good news” stories far outweigh the bad news. Many of those good news stories have to do with people helping people:

  • neighbours offering to shop for the vulnerable in their communities,
  • foodbanks gearing up to deliver food to those who could not afford to stock up for 2 weeks at a time (and foodbanks are in need of donations immediately as across Canada they have about 2 weeks of supplies left),
  • a Toronto medical student organizing the gathering donations personal protection equipment to hospitals and clinics, police and other first responders so that our frontline workers are protected),
  • people sewing face masks, and
  • China (who received face masks from Canada in January) donating 30,000 face masks to Canada now.

And it isn’t just individual and charitable organizations contributing whatever they. On the corporate level:

  • auto manufacturers are turning to the manufacture of respirators and ventilators,
  • Bauer is transforming the manufacture of hockey face masks into the manufacture of protective shields,
  • several breweries are re-outfitting their facilities to produce sanitizers,
  • fashion and home sewers are making protective face masks (there is a pattern here from Toronto’s medical community), and
  • cleaning companies and beauty salons are donating their unopened masks and gloves, and disinfecting supplies.

Donating Medical Equipment in Hamilton or cash for Covid-19 medical needs: If you have or know someone who has unopened, unexpired masks, gloves or sanitizers, as well as food and drink and baby monitors, you can make an offer to donate emailing: PPEdonations@hhsc.ca  When you email them they will want to know: product description, product code (if applicable), you to identify if the boxes are opened or sealed (if applicable), and you contact name, email and phone number. All this is to insure that what you donate meets the Canadian standards for medical equipment. If you wish to make a cash donation, you can visit Hamilton Health Science Foundation’s Covid-19 Response page. Your donations will be matched to the amount of $25,000. If you would like to speak to someone about a cash donation, please leave a message at 905-522-3863 and a staff member will contact you.

Making Face Masks at Home: Toronto needs 1,000 masks every week and the supply from China was just put on a ship this morning (March 28). The instructions for making masks at home, if it is something you are inclined to do can be found at the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation website. You could also contact the Hamilton donation email to see if they can use them here.

My hope for today is that you will be inspired and find hope in this very, very small sampling in which the world (and, in particular, Canadians) are rallying and rising to the challenge presented by this new and virulent virus. As humans, it would appear that we are by far more inclined to compassion and generosity, finding ways to overcome great difficulties together rather than separately. Suddenly, our divisions do not matter: colour, religion, sexual orientation, age, nationality. We recognize that what harmful to one is harmful to another; and what helps one, helps another.

To everything there is a season and now is the season for courage, for for love, and for generosity.

May Peace Be Upon You. So be it.

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