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Staff standing with boxes of protective equipment being shipped out to hospitals from Sheridan College

Sheridan launches #SheridanHelps Initiative to support students and our communities

April 01, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Sheridan has rapidly and effectively shifted to a new model for remote working and learning to safeguard the health of its students and employees – another critical effort is underway, in support of those most in need.

Our #SheridanHelps Initiative — launched today — provides rapid and substantial assistance for both our learners and the community alike.

Effective immediately, Sheridan students are able to apply to the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Aid Bursary, kickstarted with an initial sum of $1M provided by unrestricted donor support and funding from the Provincial government, which was generously announced yesterday.

Students — both international and domestic — are eligible to receive up to $1,500 to assist with immediate needs like food and housing as they cope with the loss of part-time jobs. Others may lack access to technology, software or the Internet — especially with public libraries and campuses closed — in order to participate in remote learning. The fund may also be used to offset expenses related to traveling home. Over 110 people have donated already. Anyone who is interested in supporting the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Aid Bursary may do so here: Donate to the Student Emergency Fund.

“Students are at the centre of everything we do at Sheridan,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor.“The pandemic has caused additional stress for learners who are now facing unexpected obstacles and constraints.This bursary will help us sustain the basic conditions that fuel our learners’ success.”

Boxes of personal protective equipment leaving Sheridan's Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario

More broadly, Sheridan is rallying its resources and staff to support the Ontario Together initiative, our communities and those on the front-lines of the pandemic.

Personal protective equipment and materials from Sheridan’s health and technology programs, as well as its temporarily shuttered Health Care Centres was donated today to the joint stores serving Trillium Health Partners and the William Osler Health System. Among the donated products were several thousand pairs of gloves, hundreds of masks and gowns, face shields, safety glasses, sanitizers and particulate respirators.The total value of the goods donated today is estimated at $52,000.

Sheridan’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) — a primary source of leading-edge manufacturing expertise and equipment, including 3D printers, a robotics lab and other advanced technologies — is exploring how its resources can be utilized by industry and community partners to meet resource shortfalls such as medical equipment and supplies. Whatever we do in this regard will respect critical social distancing efforts and strict cleaning protocols to safeguard people’s well-being.

Sheridan also recognizes that the continuation of the pandemic may necessitate the use of our parking lots and buildings to support emergency measures. We are proactively investigating how we might support this future possibility.

Recognizing that Sheridan’s employees and students have strong ties to our communities and that many want to donate their time during this crisis, we are sharing key community contacts in Halton and Peel who are coordinating volunteer efforts. Sheridan is also providing employees with the names of social service agencies who are seeking donations of food items to assist the most vulnerable. These resources will be added to Sheridan’s dedicated COVID-19 response microsite. Through these means, Sheridan is living out its mandate as an anchor institution in the community, connecting people and programs for social good.

Our faculty and leaders are also sharing their advice and expertise by providing tips for both managers and employees who are working from home and highlighting the vital role that childcare workers play in this crisis.On social media, our alumni can be found providing free tutorials on drawing for children, free concerts for children or by leading story time sessions online featuring books they have written or illustrated.

Ideas and offers of assistance in support of our community building efforts can be sent to sheridanhelps@sheridancollege.ca

“I continue to be inspired by the creativity, ingenuity and compassion that personifies our Sheridan community,” adds Morrison. “This pandemic is bigger than any of us. I am more certain than ever that harnessing our collective capacity and demonstrating compassion are the keys to navigating this uncharted territory successfully.”


Pictured above left: Boxes of personal protective equipment packed up and ready to ship out from Sheridan's Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario.

Pictured top right: Sheridan staff preparing donated supplies to be shipped to local hospitals.