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Community grant helps keep the doors open in Nova Scotia during pandemic

By: Allie Murchison, Red Cross communications advisor
 
When residents in the Shelburne area of Nova Scotia need support paying for vital necessities like medications, eyeglasses, medical equipment or food, the Shelburne and Area Lions Club steps up to help.
 
“The list goes on and on,” says Patrick Thorburne, Lions Club treasurer. “Anywhere we are needed, we try to help.”
 
Boxes of food being preparedHowever, due to COVID-19, the Club had to close its doors and community members who relied on them for help had to search for alternatives. Now, with the Club reopening, there are several unforeseen expenses as they try to adhere to new health and safety protocols while continuing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community.
 
With funding from the Canadian Red Cross and the Government of Canada, the Club has been able to procure personal protective equipment and training for its staff and volunteers, while ensuring its premises are sanitized to COVID-19 protection standards.
 
“Receiving this funding is helping us keep the doors open and support people and families in need with unexpected urgent expenses such as medical bills or money for food,” says Thorburne. “It costs money for everything to keep going and we are experiencing challenges trying to do fundraisers to keep the doors open and continue what we do.”
 
Boxes of toys on tables from last ChristmasWith the winter holiday season not that far away, Thorburne reflects on the assistance provided by the Club last year, knowing that with the added impact of COVID-19 this year, many people may need support.
 
“To see people so happy knowing they will be able to put food on their table and have some gifts for their children brings tears to my eyes,” says Thorburne. “Makes it worth everything we do.”
 
The funding distributed by the Red Cross is also helping to cover some of the operational costs of the Shelburne and Area Lions Club.
 
The Canadian Red Cross funded the continuation of this work thanks to the generous support of the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund granting program.

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