COVID-19 (Updates & Resources for Parents & Caregivers)

COVID-19 UPDATE: Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area

The Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton (BGCBigs) is taking the COVID-19 (coronavirus) seriously. The health and safety of children, youth, our community and our teams are of paramount importance to us. Our Pandemic Plan prioritizes the stability of services for our young people, families and staff.

Please see below for updates regarding our individual programs that have been recently impacted and what we are doing to adapt our programming during this time. Please also see below for resources available for our families at this time.

Resources for Families

The following are resources have been organized into the following categories and include resources and supports from our Province, Federal Governments, partner organizations and more as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. If you have any questions, our staff at BGCBigs would love to help you out to the best of our abilities, please send us a message here.

EAT WELL ON $4/DAY GOOD AND CHEAP Cookbook by Leanne Brown

Kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food. This cookbook is a celebration of the many delicious meals available to those on even the most strict of budgets. (Download)

Worried about paying the rent? Financial Resources Available


The following are resources available for our families in our community. The Alberta and Canadian governments are providing immediate financial relief to Alberta’s families.

Please note that Renter protections are in place during COVID-19. You cannot get evicted for non-payment of rent, rents cannot increase and late fees cannot be added for 3 months. It will be your responsibility to speak with your landlord to arrange for a payment plan. This is only valid for as long as we have a State of Public Health Emergency.

Alberta Provincial Benefits

Alberta Emergency financial assistance: Financial assistance for unexpected emergencies is available through the Emergency Needs Allowance.

Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they:

  • experienced total or significant loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate, or are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is self-isolating, and
  • have no other source of compensation, such as workplace sick leave benefits or federal employment insurance benefits

Utility payment deferral: Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider:

Student loans repayment deferral Alberta and Canada: Implemented a six-month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans. Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020. This is similar to what Canada has done as well –

Federal Benefits:

Employment Insurance sickness benefits
Provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement for eligible Albertans who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine (self-isolation).
One-week waiting period is waived for people in self-isolation.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (launching April 2020)
Provides $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are unable to work, sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children.

Canada Child Benefit
Eligible parents will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.

GST rebate increase
Provides low- and modest-income Albertans with a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.

Eased rules for RRIFs
The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% in 2020 in recognition of the impact of volatile market conditions on many seniors’ retirement savings.



Do You Have Concerns About Your Child’s or Your Own Mental Health? 

Do you have concerns about the mental health of your child or yourself? The following are resources and supports available for you and your family.


Mental Wellness Moment, Dr. Nicholas Mitchell novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

There’s no shortage of news about the COVID-19 global pandemic and some of it you need to know. In his latest Mental Wellness Moment, Dr. Nicholas Mitchell — AHS Provincial Medical Director for Addiction and Mental Health — provides advice on how to strike a healthy balance between consuming the news you need and not getting overwhelmed by it.

Mental Health: The Pandemic’s Impact on Mental Health: The Impact on Youth

Dr. Mercy Yeboah-Ampadu talks about what the COVID-19 situation means for the mental health of children and youth, and how we can best help them understand and cope.

Mental Health: The Pandemic’s Impact on Mental Health: The Impact on Youth

Dr. Mercy Yeboah-Ampadu talks about what the COVID-19 situation means for the mental health of children and youth, and how we can best help them understand and cope.

Mental Health: The Pandemic’s Impact on Mental Health: Understanding the Trauma of Our New Reality

Dr. Andrew Bremness speaks on processing the trauma of the COVID-19 situation, and how best to safely cope.

Program Updates

BGCBig Club Programs Resources/Updates

Clubs have moved online: Our clubs are creating online content and posting it to our social media in order to still communicate with club kids. Learn more:

At this time, each of our BGCBig Club run program sites are closed. We will be updating each of our club sites individually as we run programming with our partners and working thru how this will look over the next while. Our agency is exploring alternative ways of providing essential services to our clients, more information is to come.

Click here to read the full letter sent to Club and OST families (Sent March 17th, 2020)


BGCBig Community Based Matches Resources/Updates

Currently all in-person contact between our matches is suspended until April 3rd, 2020. The agency will not be approving any overnights between March 16th – April 3rd, 2020. We do want to recommend that matches continue to use technology to communicate and stay in touch.  Please connect with each other (Skype, FaceTime, Phone, etc) to check in with each other as well as to discuss the current events. For a list of activity ideas, please see the linked letter below.

Click here to read the full letter to Community-Based Matches (Sent March 16th, 2020)


Using Technology to Stay in Touch With Your Matches

In-School and Corporate Mentoring Programs Resources/Updates

As a result of this, all mentoring activities in schools will be put on hold until further notice. This includes our In-School-Mentoring programs and corporate mentoring programs.

Click here to read the full letter to our in-school volunteer (Sent March 14th, 2020)

Be The Reason...They Find Their Passion.

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