VANCOUVER, BC – IATSE C.A.R.E.S., a North American campaign that provides volunteer member-to-member support during the COVID-19 pandemic, is partnering with Coming Together Vancouver to increase the number of volunteers willing to help in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Coming Together Vancouver is a mutual aid group that formed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is open to anyone who wants to connect to share resources, extend a helping hand to neighbours, or show solidarity for frontline workers and the vulnerable, and it highlights social movements that are fighting for access to healthcare, housing, and workers’ rights.
When the Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU) IATSE Local B778 and the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative (VALU CO-OP) heard about Coming Together Vancouver, they partnered up with the campaign and began amplifying the message. That campaign has more than 34,000 active members in their Facebook group and has raised over $65,000 in their survival fund, which is used for direct financial aid to community members. Coming Together Vancouver is now helping groups in more than 20 other cities to start up, and they are part of national movement-building conversations around how to continue to improve COVID-19 response. The campaign has also partnered with technology experts and created a secure, tailor-made app to match offers of support with requests for assistance. ComingTogether.app is now live in cities across North America. With members volunteering on both the IATSE C.A.R.E.S and the Coming Together campaigns, ACWU IATSE B778 realized the latter could benefit if it had access to volunteers from other IATSE locals. The IATSE C.A.R.E.S. campaign is in the fortunate position of having more members who volunteered to assist than requests for help, so the partnership is a natural fit.
IATSE members across Vancouver and Lower Mainland are looking forward to expanding their volunteer efforts to help frontline workers and other community members in need.
For more on Coming Together: Vancouver, visit: comingtogethervancouver.org