Mississauga preparing to honour its COVID Heroes soon, asking residents to nominate those who went above and beyond

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Over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have banged pots and pans for frontline health care workers and sent meals, flowers and cards to the doctors, nurses, paramedics and other first responders and essential workers who have worked diligently through the greatest health crisis in a century.

But while we know that health care and other front line workers have acted heroically throughout the crisis, other people and businesses have also gone above and beyond to help their communities weather the storm—and the City of Mississauga is asking residents to honour those people, businesses, faith groups and organizations through its COVID Heroes program

"I want to provide some hope and some gratitude because there have been many people who went out of their way to help any way they could," Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told insauga.com. 

"People who were still employed wanted to give back and Mississauga Food Bank donations went up. People gave back to the community in very profound ways. They sewed masks, delivered groceries and medication and called seniors. Small but simple things that went such a long way." 

Crombie says that over the course of the pandemic, people and organizations across the city did everything from retooling their businesses to create more personal protective equipment to delivering hot, restaurant-made meals to health care workers across Mississauga and the GTA. 

Others, she said, sewed masks on their own time or volunteered to provide food, medicine and much-needed company to seniors who were asked to isolate last spring. 

"People made it their business to reach out to seniors. Meals were delivered, groceries were delivered. Some seniors say they never left their homes and meals and medications were left at their door," Crombie says.

"This is a resilient community of people who come together and they deserve a sign of appreciation. We know what they did and how they made a difference."

This year, the traditional Civic Award of Recognition program has been paused to make way for the COVID Heroes program, so any nominations submitted for the traditional program will be reviewed in 2022.

As for how to nominate a COVID Hero, residents who want to honour a person, business, faith group or organization can fill out the COVID Heroes nomination form here and email the completed form to civicrecognition [dot] program [at] mississauga [dot] ca.

Nominations are open until March 19, 2021. 

Anyone who receives an award will be honoured at a pre-recorded, virtual ceremony that will be shared through the city's social media channels in April. Each COVID Hero will receive a certificate signed by Mayor Crombie and the names of all COVID Heroes will appear on the Celebration Square ribbon screens from April 21 through May 21, 2021

The city says a place-making structure dedicated to all COVID Heroes will be placed on Celebration Square from April 21 through to the end of 2021. 

"We want to recognize these people because there is light at the end of the tunnel and there's a couple of months between now and the finish line. I want recognition for these people who brought us together in a way I can never comprehend. They didn't do it for recognition or payment, they did it out of the goodness of their hearts," Crombie says. 

To learn more or nominate someone, click here.

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