Kindness, caring & respect more important than ever

January 26, 2022

With 2022 well underway, I have been reflecting on the year ahead and how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to slow down a bit over the holidays and recharge. With the rapid emergence of Omicron and the 5th wave of this Pandemic, our front-line community service agencies, staff and volunteers, public health staff and essential workers did not get this same privilege.

We are all feeling the weight that comes with this public health set back, as we have all been hoping for an end of this pandemic. Much of our collective focus and that of government has recently been on recovery and renewal, not further lockdowns and restrictions.

Now, with new public health measures to deal with, school closings and reopenings, and a scramble to get booster shots, our personal and professional plans must be adjusted once again. Meanwhile, our health care workers, community service workers, and many in the front-line service industries are facing fatigue, higher risk of infection, and even job loss.

We are all feeling frustrated, and it is natural for this frustration to show up at work, at home and in our relationships. At this incredibly difficult and exhausting time, I think the most important thing we can do is focus on the importance of kindness, respect, and support for our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbours. It is this spirit that has been evident in communities across the country during this pandemic, and it will be what carries us forward.

At United Way Centraide Canada, we have witnessed and directly supported the essential work and leadership of our community service organizations across Canada. Back in December, in response to Giving Tuesday, I highlighted the importance of building long-term relationships with charities and non-profits. This focus is important today as our front-line services deal with the stress and challenges of responding to the immediate needs of communities. This focus is important for the long-term to ensure our communities services, their staff and volunteers have the support they need to be there for all of us.

As we all embark on our work this new year, let’s continue to adapt and adjust as needed. And while we do this, let’s make sure we support and take care of each other along the way.

If you or anyone you know is struggling, please call 211 or visit

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