Pitching in to help bench COVID-19 – Close to 50 CICC volunteers step up
“Where convenience and communities come together” is more than just a tag line, it embodies what our industry is all about. Giving back to communities is a part of the DNA of the convenience industry and that was very apparent yesterday as close to 50 volunteers from CICC member companies took time out of their busy frontline schedules to help bench COVID-19 at one of Canada’s largest vaccine facilities, the Peel Hockey Hub.
Located at Brampton’s CAA Centre, the Hockey Hub model is a streamlined flow-through process designed to administer more vaccines with fewer clinical staff than traditional mass vaccination clinics. Clients wait, get their shots, and recover in the same chair. Touch surfaces are minimized throughout the process.
CICC Volunteer Day is part of the organization’s overall support as a partner of the Hub in conjunction with Peel Public Health. CICC is also a lead partner of This Is Our Shot, #TogetherAgain, which is a national campaign aimed to rally Canadians and encourage each other to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence so that we can end the pandemic – together.
“The Peel Region is one of Canada’s Delta Variant COVID-19 hotspots and also home to many new Canadians that are frontline workers in our industry,” said CICC President & CEO Anne Kothawala. “The outpouring of support for CICC Volunteer Day is nothing short of remarkable.”
Volunteers spent 4 hours helping direct the flow of clients and assisting medical staff. Ontario’s Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Brampton South MPP, Prabmeet Sarkaria was given a tour of the facility by CICC volunteers around noon. Anne met with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown at the council chambers later in the afternoon where he congratulated her on CICC’s efforts.
“This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone—from hard-working families and hard-hit businesses to our communities on the whole,” said the Minister Sarkaria who is also the MPP for Brampton South. “But through it all, I’ve been amazed at the volunteerism, Ontario spirit, and sense of community that’s been on display from organizations and people like the Convenience Industry Council of Canada’s members. Thank you to the CICC and the team of nearly 50 volunteers you assembled to change lives and build community.”
Participating CICC members agreed with Minister Sarkaria.
According to Steve Pitts, Circle K Vice President of Operations-Central Canada: “Helping bench COVID-19 is why we answered the call and our frontline workers stepped up to participate today. We will continue to do our part to fight the pandemic all day, every day.”
“Volunteering at the Peel Hockey Hub is an example of how our industry continues to do its part to ensure all Canadians are vaccinated as soon as possible. We, 7-Eleven Canada essential workers serving our local communities 24/7, are proud to be a member of CICC,” said Abdul Abdally, Market Manager, 7-Eleven.
John Carbone, Senior Vice President – Canada at CoreMark International added: “Canada’s convenience industry continues to step up and go above and beyond during the pandemic. As a wholesaler in the industry, Core-Mark is proud to support CICC in this initiative.”
“With one of the largest volunteer groups at the Peel Hockey Hub, the convenience industry continues to demonstrate its leadership in the battle against COVID-19. Together, we make a difference,” said Eli Mail, Vice President, Merchandising at Parkland Corporation.
Support wasn’t restricted just to volunteer time. It also came in the form of drinks and snacks for both volunteers and vaccinators courtesy of a number of CICC vendor partners. Our thanks to Hershey, Mondelez, Naseeb International, Nestle, Pepsi / Frito Lay, and Vidal Candies who donated products which were very well received. A special recognition to JTI-Macdonald for supporting the creation of CICC-branded event t-shirts that volunteers wore proudly. CICC will no doubt be the most popular volunteer group as the one that brought the snacks!
“Many of our members stepped up to make this a memorable day for everyone at the Hub,” Kothawala added. “Yesterday was an example of how the industry is truly representative of where convenience and communities come together.”