Ontario cafe owner delivers sweet surprise to long term care home workers
TORONTO -- A Burlington business made a sweet donation to health-care workers at a long-term care home Friday in an effort to help spread happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caffé Demetré owner Amer Kassem and some of his staff made 100 crepes and waffles for staff at CAMA Woodlands long-term care home.
“We’re in it together and together we can really fight it,” Kassem said. “If we reach out to others maybe we will put on a smile, and satisfaction in our own hearts as well.”
To make the dishes, the ice cream was frozen at an extra cold temperature to prevent melting.
Kassem then packed up and delivered the tasty desserts for a welcomed surprise.
“It’s amazing,” said Margaret Sawyer, who accepted the donation and is a receptionist at CAMA Woodlands
“Such a great treat. It’s going to pick them (up), encourage them to move on.”
As of Thursday, 32 outbreaks have been reported at long-term care homes across Ontario.
The donation of desserts is especially meaningful at this hard time.
”We are trying our best to keep it out of the home. Staff are self-isolating, not seeing their families, not visiting. Our priority is just to keep our residents safe,” Sawyer said.
Kassem’s daughter Hallam, who is studying public health at university, helped come up with the idea.
“I really want to focus on the silver linings of all this. There are so many, and I think it’s really important to focus on the silver linings for our mental health and to do get us through this really difficult time,” she said.
Thanks to the 75 per cent wage subsidy created by federal government, Kassem said he was able to get half a dozen staff back at his cafe.
Others still laid off also came in to volunteer their time.
“I wouldn’t call it work. We’re all hanging out and we like what we’re doing and we doing it for a good cause,” said Anton Dushenko.
Kassem said he plans to keep donating desserts once a week throughout the crisis to keep people on the front lines smiling.