Wow! We never thought 2020 would be like this. It's been a ride and hopefully things are getting better, but we're waiting and watching like everyone else.
In the meantime, we are very carefully monitoring the Province of Ontario requirements and the City of Ottawa recommendations on safe operations. The health of our community is our number one concern.
EE is continuing to operate and we thank everyone who has been generous with their attentions, time and resources. If you are able, we would really appreciate cash donations, especially monthly planned giving which can be easily set up through Canada Helps here.
We are extremely proud to not have laid off any staff or reduced hours during this time. Our staff is all female, predominantly newcomers, and often the primary bread-winner in their families.
This is what we're up to and how life at EE has changed:
1. Our production continues to operate.
We are making Headbands, Fabric Face Masks, and Isolation Gowns
- Headband Video: See our video here
- Request free headbands for healthcare workers here
- Buy a Fabric Face Mask here
We are operating in a physically distanced way with 2 meters between each worker when onsite. Workers are onsite 50% of the time to reduce exposure to public transport and interactions with outside people. Our building, Heartwood House, has dramatically increased cleaning, has mandatory indoor mask-wearing, and a questionnaire for all visitors who can only enter the building by appointment.
2. Our Fabric Boutique is currently closed to the public, but we have reopened donations by appointment. Click here to learn more or schedule a donation. Volunteers are starting to sort through donations. We will start offering shopping hours when the fabric is sorted and we can properly clean our space. Shopping will be by appointment.
3. Public Classes were all suspended in March when the Government of Ontario announced their emergency orders and closed all non-essential businesses. Now that Ottawa is in the Phase II reopening, we are looking forward to a cautious reopening of our classes, starting with our Teen Sewing Camp during the weeks of July 20th and August 10th. We will be offering further classes, starting with the rescheduling classes that were cancelled in March and honouring commitments made to existing students and then offering further classes as circumstances allow. Classes will operate with physical distancing, mask-wearing indoors, increased cleaning of spaces and common tools, and decreased class sizes.
4. Sewing for Jobs Classes were offered online from late March to early June. We will be working with individual students who need extra support from the previous semester. We do intend on offering a September - December cohort with the same precautions as our public classes. Onsite childcare is available, but will be restricted by COVID precautions as the children will be 'bubbled' to ensure that the same children are exposed to each other. Please contact us to register for the Sewing for Jobs program and indicate if you will need childcare.
5. Our administration team continues to work mostly from home keeping the books in order and responding to emails as needed.
We'll update this page as things change and please stay in touch with any ideas, thoughts or suggestions!
Hugs to all,
The EE Team