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Quinte West’s Community Hero initiative continues to spread positivity

By Laural Samson [1]

TRENTON ­– Keeping a community together during COVID-19’s social distancing can be hard, but Quinte West’s new Community Hero initiative has had so many positive responses that there is no end date in sight.  

 The initiative, which encourages Quinte West residents to nominate a person or organization making a difference in the community during COVID-19, was only going to accept nominations through its website [2] until the middle of April.

But Nick Ogden, communications assistant at Quinte West, said that the Community Hero committee received so many nominations in the first couple of hours of announcing the initiative that they decided to extend the deadline indefinitely.

“It just kind of blew up; it took over like a wildfire,” Ogden said. “It was so heartwarming from the internal side of things to see how many people want to share positive messaging and highlight some of the work that’s being done.”

There have been 50 to 60 submissions of these upstanding citizens already, which means choosing a person or organization to highlight as the Community Hero for the week is not an easy task.

“When there’s an overwhelming amount of support for an individual or organization that (is) doing incredible work, it becomes a spotlight that a lot of people recognize what’s going on. And now is a perfect time to highlight them,” Ogden said about how the Community Hero committee, which is made up of five Quinte West employees, decides whom to choose for the week.

“There does come that hard choice of ‘This is the one that’s going to lead us for the week.’ ”

In the past, these Community Heroes have included a schoolteacher who hand-delivered worksheets and school supplies to her students, and an airplane mechanic instructor who dressed as the Easter Bunny and toured the community while making stops at requested homes.

Besides a shout-out on all of Quinte West’s social media platforms, recipients also receive a “good deeds” bag that is tailored to their personal interests while supporting the local economy.

These good deeds bags are tailored to what the recipient enjoys and are filled with items from local businesses.

“We use this as an opportunity to highlight a good person,” Ogden said, noting that this initiative is a win-win for both the Quinte West community and its local businesses. “Then we are able to highlight these businesses that are trying their best to stay open and remain open.”

We're honoured to be named as this week's Community Heroes! Thank you!

Posted by Care & Share Food Bank [9] on Thursday, April 30, 2020 [10]

With “no set date when the initiative might end,” Ogden is encouraging the Quinte West community to continue sending in their Community Hero submissions through the Quinte West website [11].

“At the end of the day, all of these stories are going to be timeless,” Ogden said about how important all the submissions, which can be seen through the website, are to the community’s remembering of this pandemic.

“We are going to be able to look back on how Quinte West residents got through COVID-19 and it was through these incredible acts of community heroism.”