Working with Meals on Wheels to help our elderly customers

Date May 29, 2020


When everything shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to help customers who have been significantly impacted.

Since the end of March, more than 50 employees from our sales and claims teams across the country have called more than 7,000 of our customers who are over 80 years old. They offered financial support and, as part of our partnership with Meals on Wheels, five days of free meals. But more importantly, they made a personal connection during a difficult time.

Nik Bolianatz in Edmonton and Seann Le in Ottawa wrote about their experience and what they learned helping our elderly customers. Read their stories, in their own words, below.

‘We will get through this together’

Nik Bolianatz, Expert Sales and Customer Service, Edmonton

I jumped at the chance to help with the Meals on Wheels program. I wanted to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to stay healthy and secure. I also love to connect with seniors — they have a lot to share and trust me, they did not disappoint!

I spoke to customers who survived World War II. They shared that this pandemic has been the most isolating and trying experience they have had to endure. But they were quick to remind me that we would get through this together.

I talked to customers who told jokes and shared stories about their lives. They appreciated the time and care their insurance company took to check in with them. Many of them thanked me for the offer of support but said “…you should find someone who needs it more or might not be as fortunate as I am.”

When I did speak with people who needed the support, I could hear the gratitude not only in their words but also their voice. It filled my heart to know that Intact truly cares about our community.

I would like those outside of our community to know that it’s not just the financial support that people needed, it was the human connection and the knowledge that others care about them.

‘This too shall pass’

Seann Le, Associate Sales and Customer Service, Ottawa

I wanted to contribute in a positive way during the COVID-19 situation. In any global crisis, there is often a sense of helplessness. To have the opportunity to support customers and make a difference was invaluable and empowering to me.

Most customers were very grateful and appreciated the help. For some, we were the first person to call and check in on them. Some people had never tried Meals on Wheels and were eager to try them out, others were overwhelmed with gratitude.

We have some great customers. Many have been with us 10 to 20 years. I had one gentleman who has been with us 52 years! Talk about loyalty.

Most of them are hopeful for the future and believe that everything will get better in time. These customers speak with wisdom gained from vast experience — world wars, flu pandemics — and they reminded me: “This too shall pass.”

One customer told me how she still writes letters to her sister in British Columbia every week. It reminded me to be grateful for my blessings and not take my own family for granted.

It was a privilege to be part of the Meals on Wheels initiative. This program is positive, tangible and I’m proud to be with an organization that stands behind their values.

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