RICHMOND HILL, ON (Wednesday, September 2, 2020) – Today, Conquer COVID-19 announced it has wrapped up five months of work that saw the organization getting more than three million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) into the hands of frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable communities amid the pandemic. As a strategic foundational partner for Conquer COVID-19, Volvo Cars Canada was humbled to support the effort by supplying 18 vehicles, along with gas and insurance, to the group’s Quebec and Ontario volunteer drivers who covered 47,249 kilometers in Volvo’s fleet while delivering vital PPE to help keep Canadian communities safe.
At the start of the pandemic, with new safety and social distancing measures in effect, Volvo made the decision to ground its press fleet across Canada, leaving a large number of cars unused. Recognizing that essential frontline workers were serving Canadians around the clock with insufficient PPE, Volvo Cars Canada saw an opportunity to use the cars for what they were designed to do: protect what is important. This led to a partnership with Conquer COVID-19, a grassroots volunteer group tackling the pressing issue of PPE shortages at the height of the pandemic, that needed the freedom to move safely through a country in lockdown to help others.
“Having Volvo as a partner was a significant turning point for Conquer COVID-19, allowing us to go beyond the GTA and reach communities deep in Ontario and Quebec’s vast landscape,” said Laurie Dillon-Schalk, co-founder of Conquer COVID-19. “When we founded Conquer COVID-19, I was desperate to stem Bobcaygeon's COVID-19 outbreak. Every day there was loss of life tearing the town apart. And while COVID-19 would ravage more towns, in March there was no help, no PPE, and little knowledge of the virus. When Volvo joined our efforts, we were able to send our very first PPE delivery to Ontario's very first COVID-19 outbreak and make a real, tangible difference.”
A total of 464 deliveries were made by Conquer COVID-19 (265 of these deliveries were made using Volvo’s fleet) to over 410 sites across Canada, including hospitals, community clinics, long term care facilities, home care facilities, doctor’s offices, homeless shelters, indigenous health centres, and more. The deliveries ensured these essential items got into the hands of those organizations in need: surgical masks, respirators, face shields, procedural gloves, gowns, baby monitors, and tablets; along with items needed by shelters, including diapers, formula, and feminine hygiene products.
“It is inspiring to have played a part in helping this special group of volunteers protect those who protected us,” said Matt Girgis, managing director of Volvo Cars Canada. “Safety has always been one of our core values at Volvo, and that took on a whole new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the whole team at Volvo Cars Canada, I want to thank Conquer COVID-19 for all of their incredible work in helping those serving on our front lines, minimizing the spread of COVID-19, and ultimately saving lives.”
“Today I return my Volvo after five months of a generous loan,” Dillon-Schalk said to the Volvo Cars Canada team. “And if I can leave you with this - I could have never done this without you, this Volvo, and our partnership. We built a private PPE supply chain and over a period of five months reached eight provinces and one territory - and it started with Volvo.”
Volvo Cars Canada gratefully acknowledges the tremendous support received from Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser and actor Ryan Reynolds. Both were instrumental in raising awareness of Conquer COVID-19 and its efforts to get PPE to those in urgent need.
About Conquer COVID-19
Conquer COVID-19 is a grassroots volunteer organization that came together on March 19, 2020 to facilitate access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and other priority products and supplies that are essential for frontline healthcare workers and primary care providers in treating patients and minimizing the spread of the virus. The organization, which began as an idea among six friends, grew into a multidisciplinary team with 120 volunteers at its peak. Volunteers included frontline healthcare workers, engineers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, medical students, sports talent, and NGO members that all came together to tackle pressing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information, visit Conquer COVID-19 online, or on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or on LinkedIn.
About Volvo Car Canada Ltd.
Volvo Car Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCCL provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 36 Volvo automobile retailers across Canada. For more information please refer to the Volvo Cars Canada media website at: ww.media.volvocars.com/ca/en-ca.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected premium car brands in the world with sales of 705,452 cars in 2019 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.
In 2019, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 41,500 (41,500) full-time employees. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for APAC is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).
Under its new company purpose, Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This purpose is reflected into a number of business ambitions: for example, by the middle of this decade it aims for half of its global sales to be fully electric cars and to establish five million direct consumer relationships. Volvo Cars is also committed to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.