Aug. 19, 2020

Our volunteers step up to help repackage, distribute face coverings in the community

Face coverings now required in indoor public places in Calgary
masks Brendan Webster

Twenty-four hours. Forty-three volunteers. Forty thousand face coverings. Striking numbers as members of the COVID-19 Volunteer Support program found a new way to support not only the campus community, but also the greater Calgary community. In one day, program organizers were able to recruit 43 volunteers to repackage 40,000 face coverings. As part of a partnership with the City of Calgary, these free, non-medical face coverings were distributed to the community Aug. 3 to 11.

UCalgary volunteers help repackage non-medical face coverings.

Brendan Webster

Reflecting on UCalgary’s participation to get the face coverings repackaged and out into the community, Deputy Chief Susan Henry of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency explains, “The distribution of provincial masks in Calgary was successful due to our partnerships. We were able to reach into our community through these networks and remove the barriers that some Calgarians were experiencing in acquiring masks.

Partnerships like this show how we are in this together.

Anyone from the community, including University of Calgary students, faculty and staff, was able to pick up a package of 10 face coverings from the distribution location at McMahon Stadium in the west side parking lot. As supplies are no longer available at this location, members of the community can check the city’s website for other distribution centres, while supplies last.

UCalgary volunteers distribute non-medical face coverings to the community.

UCalgary volunteers distribute non-medical face coverings to the community.

Cindy Lee

A volunteer’s perspective

Navreet Dhillon, a second-year psychology student and co-host of the UCalgaryTogether series, helped to distribute the face coverings, after repacking them July 30 and 31. “The mask experience and distribution is something I joined more recently to continue to actively take part in the program and be part of the fight against COVID-19, even though it is something very small. It was very fun getting to distribute and pack masks so that everyone in the community, including the university, can be safe and help each other out.”

Dhillon and other volunteers received positive feedback from community members while picking up their face coverings. She also felt it helped her feel more connected during these extraordinary times. “I never expected that being an active part of the UCalgary community would look like this. Overall, it’s been fun and enjoyable and is helping me feel less isolated,” says Dhillon.

Face coverings on campus

For the safety of our campus community, students, faculty and staff are required to wear a non-medical face covering in indoor public spaces at all Calgary campuses. More information is available on the Campus Face Coverings Protocol FAQ page.

For up-to-date information on the campus response to COVID-19, please see the COVID-19 Response website.