April 16, 2020
Dear members of the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto,
Over the past few weeks, our community has mobilized to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to take this opportunity to share what we are doing to support our community during this critical time as well as outline upcoming events.
Launched the ACC Helpline
- The helpline is available Monday to Friday 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm by calling 416-491-2900 ext. 3202 or by email at email@example.com to assist those in need.
- This resource assists members of the community who are over 60, suffer from chronic illness, have disabilities, or are feeling unwell, and friends and family cannot assist in getting them the essentials they need (e.g. food, medication, supplies).
Launched the ACC COVID 19 Preparedness Portal
- This bi-lingual resource provides our community with up-to-date, accurate, and official information on the resources and support available to you. We caution you from relying on unverified or inaccurate information.
- We will continue to share updates and information through the portal, by email, and on Facebook, as it becomes available.
Provided Personal Financial Support Reference Guide
- We compiled a list of options and made available a clear, concise, and simplified breakdown of financial support from all levels of government to meet the financial needs of individuals in our community. That document can be found here.
Mobilized the ARS Social Services Virtual Office
- Available by email at ARSSocialServices@gmail.com.
- The ARS Social Services immediately transitioned into a virtual office and continues to provide critical services to community members and to help community members provision and get access to necessary services (including access to new government financial aid programs).
ARS Armenian Private School Immediately Transitioned to Remote Learning
- One of the most impressive transitions within our community was the school’s transition to remote learning following March break. Our school board and faculty immediately mobilized to offer full-time remote education enabled by Google Classroom starting, Monday, March 23, 2020.
- Our faculty is fully engaged and continues to support and empower our students to grow and learn in this new environment. The school provides face-to-face interactions, access to daily lessons, curriculum, learning materials, and support.
- We are confident that our students will receive the same quality of education they would have in a classroom and will be prepared for the 2020-2021 school year.
Nor Hai Horizon TV And Torontohye Newspaper Continue to Operate and Expand Digitally
- Our two community media outlets continue to operate, providing the broader Toronto-Armenian Community with the latest community news and updates.
- TorontoHye’s April publication is only available digitally – you can access the issue here.
- Nor Hai Horizon has launched a new Facebook page to provide timely community updates throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Livestreaming of services from St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain physical distancing, St Mary’s immediately transitioned all services to livestream through the church’s Facebook page.
- The church office continues to be available to assist those in need; the office can be reached by phone at 416-493-8122 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARS Toronto Roubina Chapter Makes Masks
- The ARS volunteers have responded to the call for aid from Michael Garron Hospital by sewing masks.
- We are proud to announce that the ARS Toronto Roubina Chapter will be donating 1,000 masks to Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital. Learn more about this initiative through ARS’ Nor Hai Horizon interview or feature article in TorontoHye.
Ensuring Financial Stability of the Armenian Community Centre
- As with many other non-profit organizations and charities, our community is losing a significant portion of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. community centre rentals, events, donations).
- The community centre leadership continues to monitor and manage the community’s financial situation and has contingency plans in place to address the immediate hardship.
- We have also engaged all levels of government to outline our community’s needs and asked that our community centre, and the non-profit / charity sector overall, receive the financial support required to endure this crisis.
- We have engaged more than 25 MPs and MPPs (by phone or email) and have held meetings with The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children & Social Development and The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
- The Armenian Genocide commemorations will take place on Friday, April 24, starting with a virtual commemoration organized by the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the Armenian Youth Organization of Canada at noon.
- Later that evening, at 6 pm, the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto will host a livestream from the City of Markham’s Forest of Hope where 2 members of the Armenian Youth Organization of Canada and 2 Scouts of the Armenian General Sports and Scouting Union’s (Homenetmen Toronto) scouting troop will tie 105 blue ribbons around trees in honour of our #FrontlineHeroes. Public participation will be virtual via the livestream.
We are always looking for new and innovative ways to address the changing needs of our community during these difficult times. If you have suggestions, please email us at email@example.com.
Stay safe and remember to keep your physical distance. Together as a community, we will get through this.
Armenian Community Centre of Toronto