Organizers for the ‘Convoy of Courage’ say the initiative is spreading joy, courage, happiness and a huge thank you to first responders, front line workers and essential workers across the community, who have no choice but to work during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative is also geared toward lifting the spirits of people who can no longer leave their homes due to fear of illness, including those with compromised immune systems and elderly residents in nursing homes.
The idea for the ‘Convoy of Courage’ was initiated by a number Chatham and Wallaceburg residents, including: Jennifer Eagleson, Michelle Medd, Heather Little Blake and Brandon Medd.
“The idea came together and is loosely based off of two other ideas that have stemmed in Canada,” Eagleson told the Sydenham Current.
“The first being from Kincardine, Ontario where the businesses that had to shut down due to this pandemic came together and drove through their town honking horns and waving. They called themselves the ‘Convoy of Hope’.”
Eagleson added: “The second idea came from the great music legends The Tragically Hip. They issued a statement about playing their song ‘Courage’ on Thursdays at 6 p.m.”
Eagleson said their group took both ideas and came up with the ‘Convoy of Courage’, which involves a group of people driving around in their vehicles waving, cheering, playing music and waving flags and signs with messages on them.
“We’ve run four convoys so far in Wallaceburg,” Eagleson said.
“Each one has received community support, as well as praise and gratitude from those effected. We’re just about to complete our second Chatham one on May 2 and they too have been a success with praise and gratitude from everyone we’ve drove by.”
Eagleson said Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff and the United Way of Chatham-Kent have “green lighted” the project and have provided their support.
“We also work closely with the Chatham-Kent Police Service, OPP, Fire and EMS as well as the emergency dispatch centres, hospitals, nursing homes, Community Living homes and businesses,” she said.
“We call them each week and speak with supervisors/administrators to let them know when the next event is, when/where we’re meeting, and the locations we will be driving by.”
To stay updated on the ‘Convoy of Courage’, you can follow there Facebook page, here.
Here are some photos from past events, submitted by the group: