In August, United Way East Ontario announced eight new Community Builder Award recipients being honoured for their unwavering support to their communities in these challenging times. Check out the full list of recipients here and read on to learn about recent recipient Danika Brisson.
During a pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that our communities feel supported and taken care of—something Danika Brisson is familiar with. As one of the primary organizers for Overbrook Community Cares, she has helped her neighbours access essential services all across her community.
Overbrook Community Cares was developed as an extension of the Overbrook Community Association Safety Committee. Thanks to the program, Danika and her team have provided many services for the Overbrook community, from food and household goods deliveries to loneliness support for anxious neighbours and seniors with disabilities. She has spent countless hours on the phone with vulnerable community members, listening to their needs and figuring out ways to best serve them.
“This project has highlighted needs that were already there in the community but are much clearer now. There’s a lot of conversation about ‘how do we end these projects’ but we realized these needs are not going away and they were in some ways made more evident through COVID-19.”
Ableism, ageism, and poverty were not halted by COVID-19—if anything these issues were exacerbated. It’s for those reasons that Danika has made herself a connector, facilitator, and developer for her local community, ensuring they have the resources they need. Danika prioritizes communities whose voices are absent, and insists on practices that create accessibility for people who are often forgotten. Danika is a true light for her community.