The Bobcaygeon and Area COVID-19 Relief Fund, created two weeks ago to support the needs of people affected by the Coronavirus, has now received more than $100,000 in donations.
The fund is being administered by the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes, advised by a group of Bobcaygeon residents led by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan.
The fund is open to all eligible individuals, families, and care facilities’ staff of the Bobcaygeon community to provide support in many different ways including food supplies, transportation, technology, and mental wellness counselling.
“Bobcaygeon needs help and our community and neighbours have responded with donations so we can help each other. It’s confidential and people should feel totally comfortable to apply,” notes Seymour-Fagan in a media release.
“Our community is always there for one another. Sometimes we give and sometimes we need a helping hand, the Fund is here to provide that helping hand,” adds Ann Adare of Bobcaygeon, who is serving as a volunteer advisor to the fund.
Bobcaygeon and area patients, families and health care workers who have needs should contact Seymour-Fagan at: .
Assistance has already been provided to staff at Pinecrest Nursing Home as well as local residents. One recipient who had not been working due to COVID-19 reported “crying good tears” when notified she would be receiving support from the fund. A Bobcaygeon nursing home worker as expressed “heart-felt thanks” on behalf of all her colleagues upon receiving relief kits from the fund.
Funds have also been provided to: the Bobcaygeon Helps Food Bank; a local agency to hire over-night crisis line staff for people having to self-isolate in homes at-risk of violence; and the local Canadian Mental Health Association to provide counselling. Any resident or health worker in Bobcaygeon and area can make an appointment for counselling by calling: 705.745.6484 or toll free: 1-866-995-9933. All appointments are free and confidential.
Funds have been donated by residents in Bobcaygeon and across Kawartha Lakes as well as local businesses and summer residents from the Peterborough area, Cobourg and Toronto.
“It’s such a tragic time here locally,” said Wendy Hall of Bobcaygeon who donated to the fund last week. “I was glad to do my part to help my fellow residents who can access this generous fund.
Donors Jerry and Mary Lennox, summer residents on Sturgeon Lake who are self-isolating at home in Whitby, also donated in order to do what they could. “Mary and I have been fortunate and have so many friends in Bobcaygeon. It was an easy decision to do something. We can get through this helping in different ways,” says Jerry. “We know the funds will get to the people who need them. The local organizers are second to none,” he adds.
And when it comes to accessing the fund, Jerry does not mince words: “People should absolutely apply and not be embarrassed.” “We have all had a hard time at some point in our life,” he shares. “When I began my business I was glad someone helped me out too.”
Local businesses have also stepped-up. “Now more than ever, those of us who can must come together and help. People have died and COVID-19 has upended our lives and altered our daily routines, but we are a strong community and with each other, we can make a difference,” says Marlene Morrison Nicholls, president of Stewart Morrison Insurance, which was the first local business to donate providing $10,000 to the relief fund on the first day.
“We are very proud to be able to help put the fund together and support local residents in need due to this pandemic,” says foundation President Mike Perry. “This is community in action,” Perry added.