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September 2020

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Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Of Resilience 15 Years Later

Fifteen years ago this weekend, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast, causing a wake of destruction in its path from Florida to Texas and extensively in Louisiana. The storm became one of the deadliest and costliest in U.S history. Over 1,800 people died as a result and property damages were estimated at more than $108 billion. Much of New Orleans and parts of Louisiana were under floodwaters for weeks after. Today, in the midst of a global health pandemic, it is important to reflect on the valuable lessons learned from this cataclysmic event that are still being felt today—both the complexities of recovery and the resilience of community. The account below was written by Elliot Ac

Canada's Overdose Crisis Is "Dwarfing" COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way most people go about their daily lives. But for the already vulnerable population of substance users, the rules and restrictions of COVID-19 have heightened the risks they experience, according to drug policy experts and health advocates. “The overdose crisis is actually dwarfing COVID-19,” said Scott Bernstein, director of policy at the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. “We’re doing a good job managing COVID from a public health perspective (but) we’re doing a terrible job managing the overdose crisis from a public health perspective.” The restrictions on resources and harm reduction services during the pandemic have placed drug users further at risk,

A Teen’s Summer Spent Cleaning the Neighbourhood

When the COVID-19 lockdown first began, we were forced to change our routines drastically overnight. Our favourite activities were cancelled and many of us we were faced with a lot of extra free time we hadn’t had before. Some used this time to get creative or explore old hobbies, while others spent their time more altruistically, like Joseph Beer a teen from Cambridgeshire, England. On a daily walk with his mother, Joseph noticed dozens of neglected street signs in his neighbourhood. Most were covered in moss or dirt and were illegible. Others were hidden by overgrown bushes and couldn’t be seen by drivers on the road. Joseph decided to spend his free time cleaning up the street signs. With

Woodstock: The Festival That Inspired A Generation To Give Back

Fifty-one years ago, the most iconic festival in music history, Woodstock, ended after three days of rock 'n roll in upstate New York. Unlike any musical event that came before it, the festival drew crowds of over 400,000 and is widely regarded as the defining event of the peace and love movement from the counterculture generation. Along with music, hippies, drugs, and free love, Woodstock was also considered a breakthrough moment in mass community cooperation which helped to inspire acts of philanthropy for years to come. The spirit of Woodstock continued after the festival ended, with a simple message: "No one is happy until we are all happy. No one is safe until we are all safe." People w

Community Fridges Offer Free Food To The Neighbourhood

If you’ve walked down College street in the Brockton Village neighbourhood recently, you may have noticed two mini fridges sitting out on the sidewalk. One has a sign on it reading “Free Food”, the other, “Take what you need. Leave what you don’t.” The fridges are part of a community-run initiative led by Ten Restaurant’s executive chef Julian Bentivegna and community organizer Jalil Bokhari. They started the initiative to help reduce food insecurity by allowing community members to donate and pick up fresh food as needed, no shame or questions asked. “It’s been really great to see the community involvement. We just got the fridges set up out front, but the community fills them up with produ

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