Parsons Paris

How we Helped the Community of Montreal During COVID-19

By Sharon Brand, MA Fashion Studies

My last few months of being a student at Parsons Paris had to be cut short, sadly. With COVID-19 around the corner, I had to fly back home to Montreal and remain close to my family, at home. But I couldn’t sit still and do nothing regarding this situation. I wanted to help my local community. So this is what I did.

My family owns an Italian restaurant in the Old Port of Montreal. Because Montreal isn’t on a total lockdown, essential places can be open but with reduced staff and no seating inside the restaurant. We were still getting some pick ups and delivery every single day. One morning, I called the Jewish General Hospital and asked them if they were interested in getting pizza for lunch. They were so grateful, appreciative, and right away said yes please! The next day, we delivered pizza for over 100 medical staff, and here’s what happened next. 

I posted stories on my Instagram account, @sharonbrand, and got tons of messages from nurses, and friends who know doctors, friends OF friends who worked in different hospitals around Montreal, asking me for deliveries! I noted all the details down and the next week, we delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, to three different hospitals, again for lunch time. The smile on their faces were precious. 

Like a snowball effect, people kept calling us wanting to help, making the most generous donations, hospitals reached out even more, and wegot tons of other restaurants who wanted to partner up with us (we delivered over 700 individual ice cream pots, seeds and dried fruits, pies and quiches, and more). The deliveries I had organized three weeks ago, has taken a different proportion now. 

Last week, I posted a call-to-action after sadly realizing we were almost out of donations. I wanted/want to keep the work going. The post went all around Instagram! My friends shared it, fashion bloggers whom I don’t know donated money, it was truly incredible to see eveybody, from all around the world, come together to support Montreal. 

I’m glad I’m able to make a difference while at the same time, working on my last chapter of thesis, opening up my social media agency, and trying to balance it all during this chaotic time. If you want to help Montreal, please reach out to me on Instagram. And on that note, here are some of the messages the nurses texted me after the deliveries: 

“Thank you again we’re all so grateful ❤️”

“Just finished giving them out to everyone!! Thank you again. They all got so excited seeing it was the same pizza they loved it lol and they loooove the little nut packs!!”

“Literally it’s like the entire emergency lit up was so good. Thank you a million times over ❤️”

“Thank you so much again!! Everyone got all excited and happy it’s crazy how everyones mood changed”

“Thank you so soso much!!! So much food it’s amazing everyones in awe! We’re all so grateful 🥰”

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