Rogers expand to support vulnerable Canadians during pandemic

Rogers support for vulnerable

Rogers has stepped up its support for mentoring charity Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada (BBBS) and Women's Shelters Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regular contact between Big Brothers and Big Sisters with their mentees has been made nearly impossible due to physical distancing requirements. 

Without devices or the internet at home, about one quarter of families in the program aren't able to keep their child connected to their mentor during this time. 

Rogers has partnered with BBBS to donate Samsung smartphones and six months of free service to ensure the most vulnerable families who rely on the social connection can maintain this. 

“Partnering with Rogers to get phones and service to these kids gives them something to hold on to when everything else is uncertain. And for these kids, that’s everything,” says Gurpreet Lail, president and chief executive of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary. 

This crisis also presents challenges for women living at home with an abusive partner, and the stress of isolation or financial difficulties can add to this.

To alleviate this, Rogers is partnering with Women's Shelters Canada to raise awareness of its services, including hosting awareness advertisements across national digital and social platforms and providing digital tools and support for individual shelters. 

“We are experiencing an increase in domestic violence right now as Canadians across the country are struggling to deal with the impact of COVID-19,” says Lise Martin, executive director of Women's Shelters Canada. “One of our urgent needs is to let women who are experiencing abuse know that you are not alone, it's not your fault, and there is someone you can reach out to, day or night. We are so thankful to Rogers for stepping up to help us get this message to women who may not know that shelters remain open and can offer safety planning through their 24/7 crisis lines.”

Rogers chief executive officer and president Joe Natale says the company is doing what it can to help assist the most vulnerable. 

"This public health crisis compels all of us to take special care of those who need our help more than ever before. We are pleased to help support the great work being done by Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada and Women’s Shelters of Canada as they help ensure some of our most vulnerable community members are kept safe and connected."

If you are a woman living in an abusive home, or you know someone who is, you can call your local shelter's 24/7 crisis line for advice and support. Find your local shelter and its crisis line on www.sheltersafe.ca.

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