Caremongering: how an Island woman’s simple idea is helping those in need

Grassroots network helping people in need in Campbell River

Tara Jordan got Caremongering – Campbell River off the ground in response to the need generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo submitted

Tara Jordan got Caremongering – Campbell River off the ground in response to the need generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo submitted

It was a simple idea and it was easy to get it off the ground but the result has been a powerful force that helps out people in need.

It’s call Caremongering – Campbell River and it connects people who are in need of some of the basic necessities of life with people who are willing to provide them. It couldn’t be simpler, says the group’s founder Tara Jordan.

“Every single day, somebody is being helped in our community because people want to help,” Jordan says.

Not everybody is born on an equal playing field, she says, and so there are families without vehicles and families that are struggling financially and families having a hard time making ends meet. But there are other people who have more than enough resources, so why not get them together, Jordan asks.

“Let’s connect those dots,” she says.

RELATED: Victorian up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

RELATED: COVID-19: People continue to volunteer amid pandemic

The group was formed to help people deal with the COVID-19 pandemic just over a year ago. That was when someone introduced Jordan to the Caremongering movement.

A born-and-raised Campbell Riverite whose family was always involved in community service and having worked in the social service sector herself for nearly 20 years, Jordan was acutely aware of how many people were in dire straits at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also well known in community service circles and so was being contacted by dozens of people saying they would like to help people in need. Around that time a friend of hers told her about the Caremongering movement happening in other places in Canada. She was told to “Google it” and did.

“Here I was in the middle of all these people that were trying to help and needing the help and so, simultaneously, the Caremongering Google search happened and I learned about the grassroots initiative of people helping people in need,” Jordan says.

At the beginning of the pandemic, people were being told not to take children into grocery stores. But what do you do if you are a single parent and you can’t afford childcare but you can’t go into a grocery store, nor can you afford the additional delivery costs? So, she thought about it for a day and asked some people if they wanted to be involved but who politely declined.

“And so, I did it,” she said.

It wasn’t long before she got some help, though.

A similar group had just started on Quadra Island and so she basically followed what they did in order to get the Campbell River group off the ground.

It’s largely the same concept being done across the country. The groups are organized around social media sites which is the central medium that connects those in need with those who can help. The idea caught on like wildfire. Within a month Caremongering – Campbell River had 100 members. Now they’re up to 1,600 members with 35 screened volunteers. They’ve collected over $12,000 in donations over the past year plus unknown amounts of donations in-kind and in the form of merchandise.

Unfortunately, it was a tragic event that happened around the same time that really kickstarted the group. The April 8, 2020 apartment building fire on Ninth Avenue displaced a number of families in an instant. All of a sudden, Jordan had requests for help but she was able to post on the Caremongering Facebook page that there were people in need.

She recalls one of the first calls for help was someone who needed diapers and so she posted the request.

Somebody had the diapers needed and dropped them off to the Coast Discovery Inn where a lot of displaced residents were being housed temporarily.

“So, it was amazing,” Jordan says. “A lot of avenues for help involve red tape and applications and wait times but with Caremongering, we’re able to, as a grassroots group, just go straight to those who need with what they need.

“And so it’s just been amazing to watch. It’s been amazing to be a part of and I just feel really grateful to see what Campbell River was able to do when we come together.”

It’s a powerful and emotional thing to be involved in.

“It can’t even be be expressed in words how much it matters to people when they need it most,” Jordan says. “They just feel so supported and so hopeful that they’re not alone in this crisis.

“I’ve been doing this for a year but I still feel moved to tears all the time.”

The group is looking for volunteers – they have a particular need for people “with strong backs and a big smile” who also own a truck – as well as donations. Volunteers often handle money or visit people in their home so they all have to be screened through criminal record checks. Volunteer Campbell River helps the group with that.

People who are in need of something are urged to go to the Facebook group or contact Caremongering to be connected to whatever they are in need of.

To volunteer or if you need help, go to Caremongering – Campbell River on Facebook or text 250-202-7446 to start the process.

“The last thing I say is thank-you, thank-you, thank-you to every single volunteer person who stepped up to contribute to the group in the past year. Their contribution is what’s making this group all that it is.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Campbell RiverVolunteer

Just Posted

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Colin Dowler survived a grizzly bear attack July 29, 2019 on Mt. Dougie Dowler on the south coast of British Columbia and reports that his physical and mental rehabilitation is still ongoing. Photo courtesy Colin Dowler
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue manager Ken Neden, as he goes over the events of the Qualicum Falls river rescue on Dec. 12, 2020, for a United Kingdom television program “Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’. (Mandy Moraes photo)
UK TV show spreading news of daring Qualicum Falls river rescue across the world

Arrowsmith SAR trio share their accounts for ‘Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs to get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

While recovering several items reported stolen from the set of a Netflix movie in early April, West Shore RCMP also seized drugs and drug trafficking items from a Colwood residence last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Electronics, credit cards taken from Netflix series set found in Colwood home

West Shore RCMP seize stolen items, drugs, trafficking materials

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Left to right: Royal Bay students Payton Gust, Oskar Wood, Cheyenne Norman, Julia Morrison, Tanisha Spiller and Izzy Kroll made up the team who painted their high school’s crosswalk. (Royal Bay Secondary School photo)
Senior student leaves mark at Vancouver Island high school for LGBTQ+ students

Crosswalk at Colwood’s Royal Bay Secondary painted in support of marginalized community members

Pathfinders and Wild Wise Sooke built slim, black bat houses to be hung around Sooke. (Submitted/Wild Wise Sooke)
Vancouver Island teens build bat condos

Wild Wise Sooke says bats will sleep, hibernate and raise their young in the boxes

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Arts group promotes digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

Knappett Projects safety manager Cori Coutts celebrates her recognition for COVID-19 safety by the B.C. Construction Association with John Knappett. (Photo courtesy of BCCA)
Victoria worker honoured for commitment to COVID safety

Safety manager Cori Coutts has helped to keep Knappett Projects jobsites COVID-free

Most Read