November 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for our seniors.  Not only has the coronavirus been a serious threat to their health and well-being, but social distancing has also added to their stress and has cut many of them off from the social inter-actions that are vital for mental and psychological health.  Tonari Gumi has been working hard to keep our seniors safe and healthy, and to reassure them that someone cares for them and is available should they need help.

Immediately after the lockdowns started in March 2020, Tonari Gumi swung into action, calling all of the seniors who used to participate in our many programs and activities to explain why we had to shut down and to help them to adjust safely to living within a pandemic. Tonari Gumi staff and key volunteers re-purposed the Telephone Buddy and Friendly Visitation programs to concentrate on staying in touch with seniors living alone and those who don’t have family nearby.  Despite the many restrictions, Tonari Gumi has continued to deliver nutritious Japanese lunches to those who could still receive them and since September has expanded the number of lunches being delivered.  Tonari Gumi has also moved many of its programs and activities on-line so that seniors can still stay in contact via Zoom, but also via the telephone for those who prefer a more “low-tech” alternative. Tonari Gumi is continuing to find new ways to communicate and interact with our seniors and on expanding our reach so that we can help more seniors throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond.  But we need your help and contributions to continue these efforts to help our seniors and their caregivers.

Please follow the link to join our Soaring Cranes donation program.

I’m proud of all of the things that Tonari Gumi’s staff and volunteers are doing, and I look forward to you joining with us so that we can do even more good in the community. You don’t have to have a lot of money to receive one of our beautiful origami crane pins, just a $50 donation each month for the next twelve months is enough. I’m excited to be able to award many of these special pins so that we can all “soar together” in support of Tonari Gumi and our seniors.



David Iwaasa

Chair, Board of Directors

This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)