Rogers expands community partnerships to support vulnerable Canadians impacted by COVID-19 from coast-to-coast-to-coast

Working to keep vulnerable members of our communities safe and connected in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada and Women’s Shelters Canada

TORONTO, April 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadians are adjusting to life in this new reality. For everyone, this has meant changes in social interactions and daily routines – but for some of our most vulnerable members of society, the impact of COVID-19 has been devastating. With a deep commitment to serve the communities where we live and work, Rogers continues to find ways to help during this public health crisis, working alongside community organizations to provide an essential digital lifeline and critical supports for those in need.

Rogers announced today two new partnerships to expand its community support during COVID-19, by bridging the digital divide and helping raise awareness for the critical needs of vulnerable women and children. “This public health crisis compels all of us to take special care of those who need our help more than ever before,” said Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers. “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.”

The new community partnerships include:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
With physical distancing and staying at home, regular contact between Big Brothers and Big Sisters with their “littles” is impacted. Without devices or the internet at home, approximately 25% of the families in the program do not have the necessary tools to keep their “littles” connected to their mentor and remain supported during this critical time. Rogers is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada to provide a donation of smart phones, working in collaboration with Samsung, and six months of free service to ensure that the families who rely on this critical connection get the digital tools and service they need to help maintain these vital lifelines and social connections.

“These one-to-one mentoring relationships are at the heart of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Our ‘bigs’ are a source of continuity and comfort in the lives of our ‘littles’ – which is more important than ever during this time of disruption,” said Leanne Nicolle, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

“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,” added Gurpreet Lail, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary.

Women’s Shelters Canada
With increased social and physical isolation due to COVID-19, many women and children may be facing the reality of being at home with an abusive partner. Even in homes with no history of domestic violence, the stress of isolation and financial difficulties can increase the likelihood of conflict. Rogers is partnering with Women’s Shelters Canada to help raise awareness of the services which are available to women in need – including prominent placement of awareness ads across our digital and social platforms across the county. Through promotion across the digital sites of some of Canada’s most popular and high-trafficked websites including – Sportsnet, Citytv and our news radio brands – WSC’s digital ads will reach tens of millions of Canadians each week. In addition, Rogers is committed to providing urgent digital tools and support for shelters in need to keep them connected during this critical time through the donation of devices, services and technical support.

“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,” said 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.”

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.

These new community partnerships build on existing COVID-19 community partnerships that Rogers announced last week with Food Banks Canada. During these uncertain times, nobody should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Rogers is leveraging the power of its 108 television and radio assets, along with its digital and social platforms, for a national awareness campaign for Food Banks Canada to help reach its fundraising goal of $150 million to address acute shortage during the COVID-19 crisis. Also, through employee contributions and a corporate donation to foodbankscanada.ca, Rogers is bringing more than one million meals to families across Canada.

To learn more about all the ways Rogers is helping to support Canadians through this critical time visit here.

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