Help me Restore my Faith in my Neighbourhood and in Humanity

We’ve all seen the effects of climate change over the past few years.

The weather here in Ottawa has become more unpredictable and extreme. One minute, it is a beautiful sunny day, and the next minute, it is pouring rain with high winds.

Recently, I was a few blocks from my home when a downpour started.

Thankfully, a friend was with me, and thanks to her quick thinking, she grabbed my poncho to cover me up and protect my wheelchair from getting wet.

I don’t mind getting wet. My chair, on the other hand, is like a Gremlin. Bad things happen when it gets wet — it either stops working or starts driving itself, which is terrifying.

While my friend put the poncho on me, my chair moved backwards. Thankfully, I was using the bike lanes on O’Connor Street, so I avoided getting hit by a car, and my friend was able to stop my chair quickly.

Out of all the people driving or walking on the street, one stopped to offer help.

Something’s wrong with this picture. Why didn’t more people stop to help?

Many stared at us, chose to ignore us, or walked away. Others were in their own worlds, where the only thing that mattered was them.

Due to my chair getting wet, I was scared to drive the few blocks back to my place. My friend had to push my chair for me. Again, no one stopped to offer help.

This wouldn’t be the only time I saw how people can be selfish and uncaring.

The rain stopped a few minutes later. As we turned the corner on Argyle Street, my friend noticed two people were struggling. One was either OD’ing or was about to OD.

My friend asked me if I would mind if she helped them, and I said no, please do.

I always carry Naloxone kits in my backpack. She grabbed one and gave it to them to use if needed.

Within a few minutes, I experienced two instances of people being so uncaring and selfish.

How am I supposed to have faith in humanity and my fellow neighbours in Centretown?

Something needs to change.

One of my projects this summer is to help those in need. I plan to do this by handing out free Naloxone kits to anyone in my neighbourhood who wants or needs one.

Flora Street Pharmacy has free Naloxone kits, and recently, I’ve been taking a few to hand out to people in need. The issue is that I can’t be out 24 hours a day.

Here are two ways that YOU can help.

1. If you or someone you know has free Naloxone kits to donate, please contact me on social media to arrange a time to drop them off or for me to pick them up. The more people willing to donate, the more people can benefit.

2. Throughout the summer, I will be handing out Naxalone kits on Saturdays, weather permitting, while supplies last. I’ll mainly be covering part of Argyle, part of O’Connor, Elgin, and then part of Bank Street. If any of you would like to join me, please message me on social media, and I will let you know when and where I will be handing them out.

Together, we can make a difference and help those in need. We can do better.

As I noted above, that’s one of my summer projects; the other is to create a podcast with a friend.

Our podcast will involve discussing mental health issues, people with disabilities, those in need, and much more. It will feature special guests, friendly discussions, and debates. We may also interview random people in the community.

Our podcast will be available through audio and video with captioning for those with hearing difficulties.

We’re currently putting together a list of topics we want to cover, and we’d like your opinion and feedback.

1. Is our podcast something you would listen to or watch regularly?
2. If so, what topics would you like to see us cover?

Please contact me on social media and let me know your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible.

Until next week, stay safe and keep on rolling.