Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A local woman from Fort Frances made the Tim Hortons Hero Cup – a cup that recognizes essential workers who rose up to the occasion when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
Every week, Tim Hortons prints over 150 names of essential workers nominated by their family, friends or community members.
Andrea Faragher works as a medical lab technician at La Verendrye Hospital. Her neighbour, Tim Spence, nominated her name to be featured on the cup in June.
Ever since COVID-19, Faragher said she had to process all the COVID-19 swabs before it goes to public health. She added that they have a large influx of work coming just from swabs going out, tracking and reporting them and making sure they go to the right places, which is time consuming.
“I got an email back in June that I had been nominated to be put on a heroes cup and I wasn’t really sure what it was all about, but I accepted the nomination,” Faragher said. “You had to click on a link and say that you are good to have your name out there and that was the last I heard about it. And then last week Tim got an email saying that I have been chosen to be put on a cup.”
Spence said he nominated Faragher on a whim not really realizing it would go through because Fort Frances is a very small town. “I just did it to show appreciation for what she was doing,” Spence said.
According to a previous press release by Tim Hortons, customers can nominate adults who have been on the frontlines during the pandemic including healthcare workers, first responders, truck and transit drivers, retail staff, government members and anyone else who has worked to keep the country running in these difficult times.
Faragher said on one hand, it was difficult because her 10-year-old son was sent home from school, leaving Faragher and her husband no choice but to let family and friends help them.
However, Faragher said the biggest challenge is having to wear enhanced protective equipment all the time during her shift.
“You don’t actually know who has COVID and who doesn’t so everybody who fails the screening process is considered a risk for COVID until they are cleared,” Faragher said.
Faragher said COVID-19 showed everybody how essential people really are in the roles that they do every day.
“[The cup] really showed all the other jobs that people do everyday that don’t get recognized as being essential. That’s what is really cool about the cup, that it showcases all types of careers,” Faragher said.
“I’m proud of the Riverside corporation and of how everybody has handled the pandemic so far and how we are trying to navigate everyday changes and it still changes because we are looking at the second wave and things are increasing again and children are back to school. It will be a busy winter. We are not through the woods yet.”