On March 19, a group of six friends came together to brainstorm ways to address the PPE shortages faced by healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This group, which branded itself Conquer COVID-19, quickly grew to over 120 volunteers and garnered the support of Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser and Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds.
Over a period of five months, volunteers from all walks of life worked tirelessly to get more than 3 million items of PPE into the hands of frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable communities – reaching some 410 sites in 184 towns/cities across eight provinces and one territory – amid the pandemic.
A key partner of the initiative was Volvo Cars Canada, who at the start of the pandemic made a decision to ground its press fleet across Canada, leaving a large number of cars unused. Recognizing that essential frontline workers were serving Canadians around the clock with insufficient PPE, Volvo joined the initiative and made it possible to deliver Conquer COVID-19’s first PPE delivery to Ontario’s first COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Bobcaygeon. Volvo was humbled to support the effort, all in all supplying 18 vehicles to help with 265 deliveries, along with gas and insurance, spanning 47,249 km.