Woodlot Stories // Local Heroes

Image by Sheena Zilinski (@sheen.ism)

We want to say thank you to all of you who nominated local heroes in April.  At the beginning of April, we announced we’d be sending out gift sets to five local heroes for every week of the month and asked for your nominations.  We were blown away by the amount of nominations we received and the incredible stories that accompanied them.  We even added a bonus five recipients to the first week of the month because there were so many deserving candidates to choose from.

With everything going on right now, it’s been really heartwarming to not only learn about those who are going above and beyond in their communities, but also to witness those that have gone out of their way to recognize their efforts and share their stories with us.

The ability to look outside of our own struggles and take notice of what those around us are doing is so powerful right now — it’s how we'll learn, where we'll find inspiration, and it gives us hope.

Today, we want to share some of the nominations we received with you…

“Cally is a pharmacist who has been serving patients non-stop since the beginning of the covid crisis. She floats through many different stores and serves communities that are particularly busy. At a time of uncertainty, her calm composure has helped many a patient to find some solace and comfort. The line ups for medication are currently long as patients scramble to get supplies. She has had to work full shifts without any break or food. She has never ever complained about her situation and her go to reply when I ask her to take care of herself is, ‘It can wait.  There are people who are worse off that need help.’” Arnab Ray, on Vancouver Local Hero, Cally Tam

I met my partner of five years now when we were both in university and she was still a nursing student. I’ve been by her side since then and remember her first day working as a registered nurse. Jessica currently works in an Intensive Care Unit in Toronto directly providing care to covid-19 positive patients. She is dedicated to providing care to her patients and helps her team out by picking up overtime. We currently have to live separately in order to social distance as I have grandparents who are vulnerable to the virus. My girlfriend has been my inspiration to continue to achieve my goals as I’ve seen her achieve her goals. She deserves this.” Anthony Carter, on his partner, and Toronto Local Hero, Jessica Romano.

“She’s the mask making queen! Carolyn is donating her skills and time to make washable cloth face masks at cost for those who can pay and free to those who can’t. Her goal is keep us all safe.”Jennifer Brott, on Vancouver local hero, Carolyn Fung.

“Megan has such a big, kind heart and is always looking to support others. Full time, she works at Shopify in support of small business owners on the platform. Then on the side, she’s a small business owner of Folklor, a digital vintage/estate jewelry shop that “rehomes” gems (literally).  She’s so passionate about the small business industry and is doing everything she can to help in this time of transition. She has offered up her expertise on Shopify (for free) to lend a hand to any small businesses looking to get up and running online. Then for Folklor, she is taking a portion of her profits and sharing it forward by purchasing gift cards from small businesses recommended by her community and then asking her community to nominate someone who should receive it.  She’s also becoming a lover (and reviewer) of all the businesses she tries!” Ashley Moore, on Cambridge Local Hero, Megan Mensink.

“I would like to nominate my mom who has been a frontline health care worker of 20+ years now. She always comes into work with a positive attitude and a smile despite always working short staffed. On her days off she loves to help out our elderly relatives and neighbors by making sure they have enough groceries. She inspires me to always help others out, especially during times like today. She is the reason I went into health care myself and the reason I am a nurse today.” Jazsmin Vallejo, on her mom, and Winnipeg Local Hero, Cristina Vallejo.

“Nicole is a respiratory therapist in Downtown Toronto. She works directly with COVID 19 patients on ventilators. Her positive and fearless attitude during this time has inspired me. Learning from her stories during this time, I know our country is in good hands with trusted and passionate health care workers like Nicole!” Mei Chan, on Toronto Local Hero, Nicole Chung

“My sister Amy is a RN nurse for Kaiser. She has a two year old at home and a husband who also works the front lines as a police officer. The things she has seen and the chaos she is dealing with at the hospitals breaks my heart. To then go home and try not to bring this crazy virus into your home and get your family sick is insane. She is such a strong woman and I am so impressed by her courage every day. I just wanted to try and do something nice for her. Love her so much!” Erin Ziegler, on her sister, and San Diego Local Hero, Amy Pugh.

We hope that this community will continue to celebrate and support one another during this challenging season — and that local heroes everywhere will feel the appreciation and respect that they deserve. 

Sending love + light, always,

xo Woodlot