Run or Walk to Donate PPE to Ontario Front Line Healthcare Workers

Exciting news! The Ontario PPE Collective has donated over 2,700 face shields! We’ve been able to deliver these shields to hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities across the GTA. The workers in these facilities have been bravely fighting on the frontlines of COVID-19, and we could not sustain the support we are providing to them without our generous donors. We wanted to especially thank the West Gwillimbury IODE Chapter, who’s kind support will allow us to produce and donate over 300 face shields.

During these difficult times, a lot of us have been stuck at home. Many individuals have been kindly volunteering their time to support various community initiatives to ease the burden of COVID-19 on the community. This includes our team of nearly 100 volunteers, who have been working tirelessly to support workers on the front lines.

If you’ve been looking for a way to contribute, we have an exciting opportunity.

Run for the Front Line is a virtual race that anyone can participate in to help us raise funds to continue our mission of supporting front-line healthcare workers battling COVID-19. Your participation would directly fund the creation of about 10 face shields that would allow front-line workers to safely continue that battle!

There are a variety of distance options for participants of any level! Feel free to walk, run, use a treadmill, complete the distance over multiple days, the choice is yours. All types of support in our mission are welcome and greatly appreciated! Also, send us pictures of how you participate to our social media accounts for a chance to be featured!

Using the same technology that we use to create the PPE, we will create custom medals for all participants to have as a token of our appreciation for participating in our event.

We wouldn’t be able to produce PPE or organize unifying community events like #Run4theFrontLine without our team of dedicated volunteers! We have a lot of people working behind the scenes to make our donations happen, and we wanted to showcase them.

Meet Michelle Folinas. Michelle is the fundraising lead for the Ontario PPE Collective, and has been working incredibly hard to coordinate our fundraising efforts, including our #Run4theFrontLine event. Below, Michelle describes her volunteer journey with our organization, and the inspiration behind the Run for the Front Line event!

At the end of April I finished my first year of law school at The University of Ottawa, and moved back home with my family in Newmarket. I was hoping to do some volunteering within the community throughout the summer, and I started browsing volunteer opportunities online. I ended up on the Newmarket Public Library website, which directed me to a volunteer page where I found the Ontario PPE Collective posting. Initially I reached out about getting involved with potential media outreach, but ended up brainstorming a fundraising event that I am now in charge of organizing!

This event and organization is important to me because I am engaged within the local community and am able to play a role in keeping health care workers safe. Our fundraising event will help us raise funds to continue our mission of supporting front-line healthcare workers battling COVID-19, and should be a fun way for participants to feel like they are also contributing to the battle. As a Group Fitness Instructor at Goodlife, physical activity has always been something that I’ve been passionate about, so I’m looking forward to bringing that element into our fundraising event! We planned the event to be suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and with it being virtual, people will be able to participate at their own convenience.

When I say “we” I am referring to the brilliant team of volunteers who have been working hard to plan this fundraiser. Unlike traditional volunteer work, we have been all been working remotely and communicating online, so the volunteers have not met each other. Despite this, our team has been able to collaborate and share ideas on a daily basis.

I would also like to applaud the volunteers that I have been working with on this project as it takes exceptional communication skills to be able to organize an event virtually and in a short period of time. Volunteering with Ontario PPE Collective has been a great experience so far, and has been a refreshing change of pace from my lifestyle as a law student. Even though I have never used a 3D printer, I feel very grateful to be able to contribute to an organization that is working towards keeping Ontario’s front-line workers safe! I’m looking forward to the launch of our event and spreading the word, and am hoping that our event participants see the positive impact that they are making within the community.

Michelle is one of our many dedicated and passionate volunteers, and we are very fortunate to have her in our organization. We are excited to tell you more about our team and share their stories with you!

Until then, you can join our volunteers in our virtual race by registering for Run for the Front Line. We hope to be racing with you soon!