MEDIA RELEASE Thunder Bay, Ont. (April 27, 2020) – As the global situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, Tbaytel is making sure the Tbaytel for Good Community Fund is right there to continue to support community members, organizations and local businesses who need it. With schools being closed in favour of e-learning and many community organizations currently postponing their operations, we expected the call for project submissions for the Tbaytel for Good Community Fund spring campaign would be more difficult. In reaction , we are excited to announce that the spring campaign will take on a new format to provide immediate community support in three different ways to give back to those in need while still encouraging community members to participate and raise awareness of inspiring people in northern Ontario, because after all - we ’re in it together. On Monday, Tbaytel announced Tbaytel for Good was giving back in the following ways: Community Support – A $5,000 donation to the Regional Food Distribution Association to support their operations and help meet the expected increase in demand for their services across northwestern Ontario. Community Connectivity – A partnership with the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board valued at more than $27,000 to deliver devices, data and voice plans to keep some of our most vulnerable community members connected at this critical time. This will also include Public Wifi Internet service for five of the organization’s housing complexes. Tbaytel Neighbourhood Heroes – $20,000 in gift cards from more than 25 locally-owned Thunder Bay and regional restaurants will be given out to community members who share stories on social media and tag Tbaytel. Each week will see a different theme, with week one asking for people to tell Tbaytel how they’re helping or giving back to our communities at this time. “We’re always looking for ways to give back and be a good neighbour and in this unprecedented time, we hope that the Tbaytel for Good Community Fund will help keep our communities connected, organizations and businesses supported and people inspired by the stories we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks,” said Tbaytel President and CEO Dan Topatigh. Tbaytel’s partnership with the Thunder Bay District Social Services Board comes as a result of consultations with numerous community organizations that highlighted the critical need for vulnerable community members to keep connected. “Our world has become increasingly digital and it threatens to leave the most vulnerable populations behind,” said Bill Bradica, TBDSSAB CAO. “This partnership with Tbaytel will allow people living with low income to stay connected with their families and friends, as well as vital support systems and services that are only offered remotely during the current pandemic.” The Regional Food Distribution Association delivers essential food and food literacy programs to people across the region. As the demand for their services is expected to increase, Tbaytel wanted to provide immediate support. “ The Tbaytel For Good Community Fund donation is an act of kindness giving food to our most vulnerable, that are unable to access community services: our elderly, the infirm, and the isolated. It is a tangible demonstration of togetherness, when hope seems distant. The RFDA is grateful for this partnership opportunity to serve our community during these difficult times so that no one goes hungry in our midst,” said RFDA executive director Volker Kromm. Anyone looking to share a Tbaytel Neighbourhood Hero is encouraged to visit Tbaytel’s Facebook or Instagram page for more information.