Response: Provide protective equipment to workers who need it but cannot afford it

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Jenna Cole created Healthful Plus, a service that provides free protective gear to people who need it for their jobs but find it hard to buy.Tijana Martin / The Globe and Mail

The organizer: Jenna coles

Field : Healthful Plus launch help

Jenna Coles arrived in Toronto from Australia in 2019 for what she thought was a fun two-year stint in the tech industry. Then the pandemic struck.

Ms Coles’ job was disrupted and she was unable to return home due to COVID-19 restrictions. “In the midst of it all, I decided to make the most of a dark situation and see how I could help everyone around me in the community,” she recalls.

She teamed up with a few friends who had lost their jobs and created Healthful Plus, a service that provides free protective gear to people who need it for their jobs but find it difficult to buy it. This includes makeup artists, grocery store employees, restaurant staff, food bank volunteers, and dental staff. The group, which now has 11 volunteers, is providing free PPE packs that consist of three face shields, five masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that people always have a hard time getting their own PPE and that they really have to settle for the bare minimum,” she said. “We had over 300 requests in the space of two weeks.

So far, Healthful Plus has distributed over 1,000 packs in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada and the United States. The organization also launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $ 20,000 to cover the cost of another 1,000 packs.

Ms Coles, 27, quit her job last year and is now working freelance in order to devote more time to Healthful Plus. “I thought my move to Toronto would be focused on the tech industry and designing apps for people’s phones,” she said, adding that she now plans to stay in Canada for the long term. . “It quickly changed. But honestly, I think it’s the best thing that can happen to me. It allows you to get out of bed every morning, to have something a little bigger than you hoped for. “

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