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Community grant helps fund virtual classes for people with autism during COVID-19

It was 11 a.m. when science class started on Monday, August 17. A group of about 15 students was doing what students usually do before class starts: happily chatting about what they did on the weekend. There was nothing out of the usual until you looked closer and noticed the students ranged from a very young age to their senior years, and everyone was taking part in the class from their own home through a videoconferencing app. “It’s good that there are adults, teenagers, and children,” said Gail Berman, a 64-year-old student. This heterogeneous group is connected by a condition that is common to all of them: everyone has autism spectrum disorder.
 

Wilson Restrepo, medical specialist and leader of a Red Cross team deployed in a long-term care facility

The Canadian Red Cross has been mandated by the government to provide vital support to long-term care facilities (CHSLDs). The organization has been hard at work to recruit a humanitarian force, which now counts Wilson Restrepo among its ranks. Here’s his story.
 

How the Emergency Community Support Fund is helping fathers build their relationship skills

RePère is a non-profit community organization whose mission is to foster the development of paternal skills by giving fathers the tools to build and maintain strong relationships with their children. Its main goals are to offer support to struggling fathers and help men define their role as a father. The organization has been active in the Montreal area for 25 years.
 

Responding to COVID-19 around the world, part 2

Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. As some countries have begun loosening public health restrictions, others have experienced a surge in cases. No matter what the context, we’re committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected during this global crisis. Here are just some of the ways we’re doing that.

The stress of parent care in uncertain times

When the pandemic hit, Phyllis felt ready and prepared with a plan. As one of the main caregivers of her 87-year old father Peter, Phyllis rallied her siblings to ensure that their father was looked after, with plans for grocery and special deliveries even when the rest of family had to stay home. The family make a genuine effort to connect with Peter, and each other more often virtually than they typically did in person.
 

Mental toughness during the pandemic: Keeping seniors’ spirits up

Things changed for Peter when he - like all British Columbians - was required to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being completely alone at home for an extended period of time, with no clear sense of when the restrictions would be lifted, made a real impact on Peter’s health, both physical and mental.

Psychological first aid: We don't always know what to say

Canadian Red Cross volunteer Erin Ellis explains why we don't always need to know what to say when someone is struggling with their mental health, and what you can do to still help. 

Checking in to stay connected during COVID-19

During a typical disaster, Red Cross volunteers would check on how someone is coping through a face-to-face visit, however, in keeping with COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, teams are currently doing daily check-ins by phone. In Saskatchewan, volunteers have already made more than 200 wellness check phone calls to people with vulnerabilities being supported in self-isolation.

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About The Blog

The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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