Andrew Young has a deep appreciation for kindness, viewing it as a form of universal currency.
“Free to receive and most importantly, free to give,” he told Global News.
In this case, it was kindness manifested through digital means. Young is the founder of Vaccine Hunters Canada.
It was in mid-March and while trying to book appointments for his mother and father, he recalled coming across the American site, VaccineHunter.org.
In the end, Young was successful in his search. However, it was something he witnessed at the clinic while with his father that he said really got him thinking.
“I noticed people standing outside the entrance, waiting for something, and it was only afterward that it clicked that they were waiting for leftover doses,” he said.
He credited being able to land those appointments in the first place to an affinity for technology.
Young said he remembered the American site, and realized there was a need on this side of the border. He purchased the domain vaccinehunters.ca, and set up a Discord chat server.
The Twitter page launched less than five months ago, and it now has close to 256,000 followers.
It took little time for Vaccine Hunters Canada to become a go-to destination, gaining around 100 volunteers — all dedicated to connecting people to vaccination appointments.
While director Sabrina Craig says they don’t currently have any numbers detailing how many Canadians they have helped, they have received a great deal of gratitude.
The group has received praise from the Prime Minister, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, and partnered with the City of Toronto.