In the wake of social distancing and the ever-changing landscape of unknowns, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fear and sadness of it all. But rather than falling into the darkness headfirst, it got us thinking – what if there’s good out there somewhere? Reminded of the late Mister Rogers, we looked back to the advice he would share in times of trouble – the advice to “look for the helpers“. And in our quest, we found a shiny silver lining where helpers are out there giving a double dose of hope. ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood’. Let’s have a look at how some of these Canadian Helpers are helping their neighbours near and far.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Mister Rogers
Helpers crossing borders (it’s ok, it’s allowed!)
We can’t talk about helpers without first talking about the heroes on the front line providing health care for those in need. And what we found especially inspiring are the Canadian healthcare workers who travel daily into US bordering towns to help where extra hands are critically needed. Between 1,500 – 2,000 Canadians make up the healthcare workforce in Detroit and commute home daily over the bridge to Windsor, Ontario. These Canadian heroes are helping our neighbours where care and support is a much-needed commodity.
1,500 – 2,000 Canadian healthcare workers commute from Windsor to Detroit daily
Photo: PDru2014 from Detroit, United States / CC BY
But wait…the border crossing heroism doesn’t stop there. Heading north to the 400 person town of
Stewart, British Columbia, locals vow to help the isolated 80 person town across the border in Hyder, Alaska (which is only accessible by road via BC). This may have you asking, how are people crossing the border with the current travel restrictions? Don’t worry! The travel restrictions have been removed for cases like this where medical workers and towns are seeking to help bordering communities. Thank you, heroes!
Town of Stewart, BC vows to help their Alaskan neighbours in Hyder, Alaska
Photo: Tjipke de Vries / Wikipedia
From Helpers to Super-Helpers
There are so many incredible stories about people helping strangers, others posting signs in windows asking for help, showing green circles on their doors to ease concern on their status, and people simply offering to deliver groceries to elderly neighbours so they don’t have to brave the stores themselves. And every one of these examples reinforces the hope. The hope that kindness will prevail. And the hope that it can be anywhere and everywhere – even in hard times. And then there’s a next-level breed of helpers. Ones we’re calling, Super-Helpers.
Super-Helpers are like helpers – but at scale. They have extending influence and range, and they use it for good. For helping. For Super-Helping. One such hero is Canada’s favourite – Ryan Reynolds.
Ryan Reynolds – takes helping to the next level across the US and Canada – Super-Helping
Photo: Sgt. Michael Connors – 302nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment / Public domain
Not only have Ryan and wife Blake donated $1,000,000 US to food banks in the US and Canada, but they’ve donated $400,000 to the 4 hardest-hit hospitals in New York. $4,000 was donated to the Edmonton Food Bank and the proceeds from Aviation Gin are dedicated to supporting your bartenders – specifically $15,000 to the US Bartender Guild, $10,000 to the Canadian equivalent, and 30% of proceeds per bottle go back to bartenders. Thank you Ryan for sharing your super-powers!
For those hockey fans out there, you may be familiar with 4 time Gold-Medal Olympian (and 1 time Silver), Hayley Wickenheiser. Not only is she a legend and inspiration on the ice, but she too has been using her powers for good. As she’s on her journey to become a Medical Doctor, she took to social media to get help and support from the community for the front line medical staff. She called upon the social audience to rally donations of masks, gowns, and gloves for front line staff, and are they ever seeing success. Thank you Hayley! You’re gold through and through!
Hayley Wickenheiser – hockey legend turned medical hero, and community support leader
Photo Credit: via IG @hchickwick
Thank you to the helpers, the healers, the Super-Helpers – you are all heroes. In times of trouble, you shine hope in a shiny silver lining for us all. Keep on keeping on. We’ll keep cheering you on (from a safe distance that is)!