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 Michelle Fleming.
Michelle Fleming works as a Knowledge Broker at the Ontario Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care at Bruyère, where she is responsible for finding the best tangible ways to implement long-term care and seniors-based research. When the pandemic hit, she saw first-hand the effect it had on clients and colleagues.
As someone who works closely with long-term care home residents and their support workers, she immediately sought out ways to help lighten the effects of COVID-19.
To boost morale and provide support, Michelle’s initiative Kid Art with Heart asks children all across the city to draw uplifting and encouraging art for patients and employees of long-term care homes. Each week, Michelle would post a different theme in the Facebook group for participants to create and be inspired by. Michelle then drives around the city to pick up the art pieces from each family’s porch and delivers them to long-term care homes around the city.
“This initiative has been a labour of love, and for me it offered an opportunity for quiet reflection on those drives across the city picking up art – as I began to absorb what was happening in the world and contemplate the importance of community and intergenerational connections.
Thanks to Michelle’s work, isolated seniors and hardworking front-line workers across Ottawa can feel cared for and thought of during a time of crisis. Her hard work has left many people smiling in situations where they might have suffered otherwise.