IKEA commits $2M to communities impacted by COVID-19
BURLINGTON, Ontario – This country’s second largest furniture retailer has pledged $2.3 million in product and supply donations to support local communities impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. IKEA Canada said its relief efforts will focus on the homeless, newcomers, refugees and children, providing furnishings to ensure they have a safe and comfortable home during these challenging times. It will also support those leading COVID-19 relief efforts by providing relevant supplies from its range to medical services and facilities.
“At IKEA, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Now more than ever, we know that home is the most important place in the world,” IKEA Canada chief executive and sustainability officer Michael Ward said in a statement. “By providing home furnishings to some of our most vulnerable and at-risk communities, we ensure that not only are their basic necessities met, but also that their home is a place of comfort and safety when they need it most.”
IKEA Canada has established a national task force and is currently engaging with government agencies, charities and others to determine where donations can have the greatest impact. The retailer has already collaborated with Furniture Link – an umbrella organisation representing agencies such as Toronto’s Furniture Bank and Shelter to Home of Vancouver – to help more than 1,500 families with needed home furnishings in communities across Canada.
From coast-to-coast, IKEA stores have already started making contributions to medical services and facilities. For example, after searching through its warehouse, the staff at IKEA Vaughan – a Toronto suburb – found some 66,000 N95 masks which were subsequently donated to the nearby North York General Hospital.
The company’s Edmonton outlet undertook a similar search of its inventory and ended up donating some 41,000 N95 masks to Alberta Health Services – for which they received a grateful shout-out on Twitter from Premier Jason Kenney.
Not to be outdone, IKEA Richmond donated 9,500 to SafeCare B.C. and some 1,000 bedding products to the British Columbia Women’s Hospital.
In all, the retailer has donated approximately 230,000 N95 masks to hospitals and healthcare centres across the country and said it will continue to work closely with medical services to donate urgently needed supplies from its range such as bedding, mattresses, children's toys and food.
“We're committed to supporting the communities in which we serve and we want to do all that we can to support our front line healthcare workers who continue to work tirelessly for our health and well-being during this unprecedented time,” IKEA Canada sustainability manager Melissa Barbosa said.
IKEA Canada’s donation is part of parent company Ingka Group’s global effort to provide emergency relief efforts in the 30 countries in which it operates. Ingka Group has allocated €26 million (C$39.5 million) to protect the health and livelihoods of communities, co-workers, suppliers and consumers impacted by coronavirus.
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