For one Surrey man, pandemic pay means a donation to charity.
Surrey paramedic Will Rogers donated all of his pandemic pay to the Surrey Food Bank and the Surrey Christmas Bureau Nov. 5, gifting each $2,000.
Now he’s inviting others to do the same.
“I am going to challenge anyone to give up part, or all, of their pandemic pay to a local charity, or business, or person in need,” Rogers said.
“Many of us are working more than we ever did and are doing well despite the pandemic. This presents a great opportunity to help when the need is obvious and great.”
Rogers said he was inspired to donate his pay because COVID-19 has increased the number of people in need. He also said he’s worked with Surrey charities in the past and found the experience very rewarding.
“When the pay came into my account. I looked at it on my computer statement and immediately realized that I would not be keeping it as it should be passed along to others in need in my community,” said Rogers.
“Although I appreciate the gesture from the federal government in the form of extra pay, I also realized that in different hands the funds would make a much larger difference to many others.”
Rogers said he’s “put it out there,” referring to his pandemic-pay challenge to other front-line workers, in the hopes others will step forward and donate much-needed cash to Surrey charities.
“This is a way of showing that we are all in this together,” he explained.
“Forty per cent of the population has been harshly affected. Forty per cent of the population has not been affected. And twenty per cent of the population is actually doing better than before the pandemic,” Rogers suggested. “I am in the twenty per cent category, as you might expect.”
As a paramedic, Rogers said his time is in high demand, but despite being pulled in many different directions and having much of his time eaten up over the past six months, he sees opportunity in these challenging times.
“I believe we are handed situations in life that will define who we are as a society. This is one of those times.”