Here's some ways Calgarians are helping each other get through the COVID-19 emergency

News coverage of the global COVID-19 pandemic can seem like a constant stream of doom and gloom. But there are stories that remind us of the power of people coming together in times of trouble. Here are a few from Calgary.

Food hampers, 'window walks' and a fundraiser inspired by Dr. Hinshaw

Cathy Jacobs is using her temporarily closed business, Angel's Cafe, to put together food hampers for Calgarians who need them during the COVID-19 emergency. (CBC)

News coverage of the global COVID-19 pandemic can seem like a constant stream of doom and gloom. 

But there are stories that remind us of the power of people coming together in times of trouble. Here are a few from Calgary.

The coronavirus emergency forced Cathy Jacobs to shut down her popular cafe at the north entrance to Edworthy Park last week. 

But now she and her staff have turned Angel's Cafe into a hub for preparing food hampers for folks who are in isolation in their homes and can't get the essentials.
Jacobs says that after 23 years in business, she's confident Angel's will open again. 

"We don't know what's going to happen at the end of the day, and none of that really  matters. All that really matters right now is today and where we are today and how many people we can help today, and that's how we approach it every single day as we go forward," she said.
Jacobs says they have plenty of fruit and vegetable donations but are in need of more rice, pastas and meat. 

'Window walk' 

Kaylee Davies puts up some new displays as part of the community project called Window Walks. Neighbours are helping keep each other and their children amused as they stroll around their communities while keeping their distance. (CBC)

People in other parts of Calgary are also bringing the community together to get through the crisis — but from a safe distance.

The initiative is called a "window walk" and it's taking off in many Calgary communities where people are looking for safe ways to connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, says walking around your neighbourhood is fine as long as folks stay at a distance from one another.

So, in Evanston in northwest Calgary, people are are following the doctor's prescription.

There are messages in the windows and chalk on the ground — all things hearts, silly faces and words about spreading love.
Alanna Landymore went out with her grandkids to enjoy the artwork people have posted in windows and on the ground.

"I think it's a really good way to come together as a community and show love and support for everyone because we're all in this together," she said.

"So it's just a unique way to, you know, to help everybody get through this and show that support together."

Kaylee Davies is part of the community window walk project.
"It has made the community one giant family that is staying two metres away from each other. But still so close and connected," she said.
Every few days, a new prompt on the 300-member Facebook page adds more interest to windows.

Inspired T-shirts 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, has been giving daily updates on the COVID-19 situation. Her impressive performance inspired a T-shirt that asks 'What would Dr. Hinshaw do?' (The Canadian Press/

Speaking of Dr. Hinshaw, her calm, cool demeanour as she leads Alberta through an unprecedented health crisis inspired a Calgary assistant principal to create a shirt as a fundraiser.

The 'What would Dr. Hinshaw do?' T-shirts had raised about $9,000, as of Sunday afternoon, for food banks and food-insecure school children.

"She is just so remarkable in the way she manages this massive amount of information in a way that makes people feel calm and supported," Alison Van Rosendaal told CBC News.

"She does it with a generosity of spirit."


On Twitter, Albertans have been using the hashtag #AlbertaCares to get the word out about ways people are looking out for one another during the crisis, from a shoutout to a Lethbridge youth group offering virtual meet-ups for young people to a surprise snowman on a front lawn.

Here are just a few examples: 

Do you know of anyone doing something to help their community? Let us know about it at

With files from Helen Pike, Terri Trembath and David Bell


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?