Dear St.Amant Families,
This week we have been devastated by more news of unmarked graves at an Indigenous school in Saskatchewan. We are committed to hearing and learning about our country’s horrific past and determined to find a path forward that acknowledges our own harms and commits to doing better. We are responsible for how we move forward and our organization will not take this lightly.
Over the next months, we know that we will learn about more discoveries and we want to hear from you about how you think we should acknowledge these harms and support our community. Should we lower the flag – is that meaningful? Should we develop a place for reflection? We want to understand from your perspective, how, as an organization we can best acknowledge and respect the tragic past in a supportive and meaningful way. Please reach out with your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we will lower the flag. Today, we will also re-commit to listening, to bearing witness to the harms and learning from the past and the harms that continue, so we can ensure that we do better.
This week we had the opportunity to offer Manitoba’s first drive-thru vaccine clinic. Over the past five days, we have seen countless people and heard countless stories about why this clinic served them well. I want to share a few stories with you.
We had numerous people with disabilities, some who have attempted to get the vaccine multiple times at other sites, come through the drive through. Their staff were leery that this would be successful – but each time, our experienced nurses and pharmacists, along with support from the volunteers, were able to distract and get the shot done quickly before the person even really noticed. We see these first doses as a huge success, considering the vulnerability of the people who received the vaccines.
We had some unexpected successes too. A couple where one person is immune-compromised and hasn’t left the house in more than a year (except to get his first vaccine) were very grateful for the proximity to their home. They were able to walk over and didn’t have to spend his disability cheque on safe transportation.
We met a number of people with very high needle anxiety and/or social anxiety who appreciated staying in their vehicle and the additional supports from volunteers and most especially the therapy dogs from St. John Ambulance.
As you can see, we are very pleased to have been able to reach people who were looking for a community-based option that would serve their unique needs. We look forward to continuing to support the community in this way through two off-site partnerships over the next few weeks and then our goal is to host one day per week drive-through clinics at St.Amant starting the week of July 12.
Thursday next week is a statutory holiday and many staff will be away on Friday, so please expect our update on Wednesday.
Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend.
President & CEO