As the COVID-19 crisis forced us to revisit our working methods, most of us transitioned to remote relatively smoothly with few challenges. Yet others were left without basic equipment to continue to deliver essential services.
This was the case at the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, which operates in south-west Toronto. The Centre delivers health services, counselling and mental health support to those who need it most.
In a leap of faith, Angela Robertson, the Centre’s Executive Director, decided to reach out to her BLG contact, lawyer Nick Pasquino. She inquired if BLG had any decommissioned “machines” they would contemplate donating.
Angela has been with the Centre for over six years. As we talk over the phone at the end of a long day of meetings for her, we ask her what she finds most meaningful about her work. She tells us it is the tangible way the Centre can make a difference in the most vulnerable communities by offering “healthcare with dignity and without judgment.”
“Healthcare with dignity and without judgment”
Nick quickly forwarded Angela’s request to Jacqueline Green in BLG’s Technology Support Services team). Jacqueline soon got back to him with some very good news. Not only did BLG have decommissioned laptops, they had 25 to donate.
Not only did BLG have decommissioned laptops, they had 25 of them to donate.
The IT team rapidly got to work setting up the laptops for delivery to the Centre.
“It was meant to be,” said Jacqueline about the timely request. At BLG, the turn-over for laptops is usually every three to four years, and the team just happen to have some in stock. “Each machine needed to be tested and wiped down.”
In light of the work restrictions, only one person was able to set up the laptops on site at BLG. In fact, it took the IT technician two days to complete the work. The laptops were soon picked up by the Centre to Angela’s delight: “BLG has certainly stepped forward in supporting us.”
“It was a long shot, but it paid off,” Angela said, when asked about her outreach to BLG.
When we asked if she had anything else to add, she said that she was “completely elated” with the donation.
“I wanted to share how appreciative we are,” she concluded.
Donated laptop in use by Gab Laurence, Parkdale Queen West CHC manager working at the isolation and support site for individuals who are homeless and COVID-19 positive.