Amid the onslaught of news related to COVID-19, the community in Edmonton has continued to find a way to focus on the spirit of giving and helping those in need.
In partnership with businesses in Edmonton, St. Albert resident Emily Jenks found a beautiful way to honour her grandmother by creating a charity to help community members stay connected, called Project Joy.
Health sectors have long warned about the effects of loneliness on mental health and how damaging it can be to our overall health. With the necessary restrictions in place amid the pandemic, social distancing from family members and friends can accelerate the adverse effects.
One of the hardest-hit groups of individuals who are the most vulnerable is senior and long care homes. With Jenks initiative and the support for businesses in Edmonton, Project Joy has collected donated tablets and phones to help seniors stay in touch with their families.
Given the stricter ban from visitors to long-term care centres across Alberta, these donations have gone a long way to become the only means of connection with loved ones for most seniors.
The Copper Sky Lodge long-term care home’s manager of recreational therapy, Joannie Robertson, said in her interview that “Probably 95 percent of our residents do not have cell phones, iPads or iPods.”
The inspiration behind this initiative stemmed from a conversation between
Emily Jenks and her children, drawing up different ways they could help others during the pandemic. Jenks initiative is a wonderful reminder of what our community can achieve when we all work together, which truly reflects the spirit of our community.