IN the wake of the pandemic, a small group of volunteers decided to take matters into their own hands when they realized that many people will be left isolated and without support as the lockdown encouraged everyone to stay home. Using the support of those in the community that wanted to step-up and help during this time, the Good Neighbour Project (GNP) came to be.
The Good Neighbour Project is a volunteer delivery network that has spent the last year assisting vulnerable members of the community in accessing food, essential supplies and medication. Since launching in the GTA in March, 2020, the Good Neighbour Project has grown its network of volunteers to over 6,000, fielding 18,000+ calls in the last year and completing 8,500+ deliveries. With the support of the community, GNP has launched chapters in London and Ottawa.
The project’s on-the-ground efforts are aimed towards vulnerable people including seniors, persons with disabilities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant persons, and single parents. Specifically, the project aims to help those who are vulnerable and isolated, with no other sources that can help them (family, friends, neighbours, etc.). A hotline has been set-up for those in need, who can call when they require assistance in accessing groceries, essential supplies, and medication. Hotline volunteers will put the requesters through an in-take process and match them up with delivery volunteers that will assist with delivering the items.
The most amazing part of this GNP journey has been the level of commitment of the volunteers that are the force behind the project. There are delivery volunteers who assist on a weekly basis and have become regular volunteers for seniors and other requesters, building relationships that transcend the usual volunteer experience. For many vulnerable people, they have been using the GNP since last year, and have come to rely on the support of these volunteers.
With over 50+ partnerships developed with various food banks and social service providers, GNP has helped connect individuals to other resources in the community, doing their best to make sure no one is left behind. It has also partnered with charities to provide hot meals to low-income and homeless populations by raising funds and providing delivery support.
As the pandemic goes on, the calls for help continue to increase. If you are interested in being part of an incredible and compassionate network of neighbours who are providing daily support to vulnerable members of the community, consider joining the Good Neighbour Project. A variety of volunteer roles are currently open, and posted on their website, www.goodneighbourproject.com.
(Written by Maduba A)