During the month of March, the City of Chestermere will host the Chestermere Cares campaign, a community initiative aimed at showcasing and sharing local resources.
According to a press release from the City of Chestermere, the campaign aims to help those who have suffered job losses, financial uncertainty and mental health struggles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These challenging situations have become a hard reality for many people in our community over the past several months,” the release stated. “The City of Chestermere wants residents to know that they don’t have to face those challenges alone.”
Danielle Fermin, manager of community and support services for the municipality, said local organizations that assist residents who are facing a difficult time will be promoted via the City's social media accounts throughout the month of March.
The campaign also aims to let locals know they don’t have to travel to Calgary for support services.
“We want to shed a light on the amazing local programs and services in the area,” she said. “We want to highlight the fact that we have a great local network of organizations who are working hard to adapt.”
Fermin said resources the campaign will feature include emergency financial support programs like the City’s Gifts of Kindness campaign, emergency resource programs like those offered by the Chestermere Regional Food Bank and mental health supports like Stepping Stones to Mental Health.
“Being able to connect residents to financial, mental health and social isolation resources has been a priority for us with those issues being sharpened during the pandemic,” she said.
The goal is to share a different resource every day for the month, according to Fermin.
“By focusing on the local aspect, what I’m hoping what this will achieve, is that we are demonstrating to the public that there is a collective response from the non-profit sector on how we are supporting the community together,” she said. “We are going to try and recover on the other end [of the pandemic] together.”
As the pandemic has been a part of life for a year now, Fermin said there have been a number of new needs that locals have sought, and everyone’s experience has been different.
“Early on, there was concern with job security, there were a lot of people laid off, even temporarily because of different closures and restrictions,” she said. “Now we may be in a place where mental health may be more of a concern. We are working together to provide support to residents wherever they are on that continuum.”
According to Fermin, the experience many residents have faced in Chestermere has been tough throughout the pandemic.
“Our resource centre has seen many more residents come through. Whether they are emailing or calling, our lines have been higher,” she said.
Those who want to follow along with the campaign can do so by following the City of Chestermere’s social media channels.