Our shared human experience is what makes us more similar than different.

That common experience is what strikes the heart, what resonates and what inspires in some to do for others – with the same love in their heart usually reserved for those nearest and dearest.

Jay Smith is a Canadian singer songwriter who finishes each performance with his signature phrase “I love you all – in different ways.”

You may remember him as the musician who got a million hits overnight on YouTube for his tribute song to victims of the team bus crash that left so many young hockey players dead and injured in Saskatchewan two years ago. It’s called Stick Outside The Door – Humboldt Strong. When he recorded this song, at that time, he went by the moniker Smitty Kingston.

Our shared human experience is what makes us more similar than different.

That common experience is what strikes the heart, what resonates and what inspires in some to do for others – with the same love in their heart usually reserved for those nearest and dearest.

Jay Smith is a Canadian singer songwriter who finishes each performance with his signature phrase “I love you all – in different ways.”

You may remember him as the musician who got a million hits overnight on YouTube for his tribute song to victims of the team bus crash that left so many young hockey players dead and injured in Saskatchewan two years ago. It’s called Stick Outside The Door – Humboldt Strong. When he recorded this song, at that time, he went by the moniker Smitty Kingston.

Clip of Jay singing “Stick Out By the Door” – How it started

Clip of Jay singing “Stick Out By the Door” – How it started

Despite the songs popularity, he didn’t do it for the fame, and he wasn’t after a fortune.

As a dad, the tragedy tapped into some deep personal feelings and he literally let it pour out of his heart –and through his guitar – right there in his living room the night he heard the tragic news.

Jay decided to share it online before heading to bed and woke up to see that his song had resonated with more than a million others.

Another person moved by the heart-crushing story and Jay’s creative response to it is – Andrea Daniel, a portrait artist. When she heard that Jay was donating a guitar to a big auction to raise funds for the families of the Humboldt victims, it inspired her to offer her artistic talent. She sketched a montage of the portraits of the young players whose lives were lost and had it transferred – like a permanent tattoo – on Jay’s guitar.

Despite the songs popularity, he didn’t do it for the fame, and he wasn’t after a fortune.

As a dad, the tragedy tapped into some deep personal feelings and he literally let it pour out of his heart –and through his guitar – right there in his living room the night he heard the tragic news.

Jay decided to share it online before heading to bed and woke up to see that his song had resonated with more than a million others.

Another person moved by the heart-crushing story and Jay’s creative response to it is – Andrea Daniel, a portrait artist. When she heard that Jay was donating a guitar to a big auction to raise funds for the families of the Humboldt victims, it inspired her to offer her artistic talent. She sketched a montage of the portraits of the young players whose lives were lost and had it transferred – like a permanent tattoo – on Jay’s guitar.

The donated guitar. 100 hours of work by portrait artist Andrea Daniel.

The donated guitar. 100 hours of work by portrait artist Andrea Daniel.

He was invited to perform at a major fundraising event out West, and the donated instrument sold for over ten thousand dollars, generating yet another welcome gift to help the sorrowful and suffering families.

Andrea says of Jay “If you’re fortunate enough to be his friend, then you’re a lucky person”

Fast forward to 2020 and the ravages of  COVID-19. Andrea Daniel – now semi-retired from her profession – a medical role in transplant surgery – has now been re-deployed in a totally new way.

It’s now her job to search for, purchase and distribute PPE to some of her former colleagues, and thousands of others associated with a network of medical care centres in Toronto including two hospitals, a Rehab clinic and long-term care homes.

He was invited to perform at a major fundraising event out West, and the donated instrument sold for over ten thousand dollars, generating yet another welcome gift to help the sorrowful and suffering families.

Andrea says of Jay “If you’re fortunate enough to be his friend, then you’re a lucky person”

Fast forward to 2020 and the ravages of  COVID-19. Andrea Daniel – now semi-retired from her profession – a medical role in transplant surgery – has now been re-deployed in a totally new way.

It’s now her job to search for, purchase and distribute PPE to some of her former colleagues, and thousands of others associated with a network of medical care centres in Toronto including two hospitals, a Rehab clinic and long-term care homes.

Andrea Daniel’s new job I healthcare is sourcing and testing PPE for thousands on the frontlines.

Andrea Daniel’s new job I healthcare is sourcing and testing PPE for thousands on the frontlines.

So much need, so much competition, so many complications in sourcing the vital supplies and ensuring they are the real thing. She’s very careful after purchasing masks that caused her a severe allergic action – and turned off to be fakes. Unbelievable.

Andrea reached out to Covidhealth in Waterloo Region hoping to tap into the hand sanitizer production ramped up among a group of small local distilleries, around the region and beyond. For months now, they have been churning out the precious concoction made to the World Health Organization’s recipe; 80% alcohol.

Once Andrea got to know all about what Covidhealth has been up to – raising both awareness and funds, as well as coordinating the production and distribution of PPE for frontline workers – she got herself and her institutions on the recipient list – and wanted to give back.

Having become good friends with Jay Smith (in fact, his agent)  over the last few years, she found out that sure enough – he was polishing up a song he’s been moved to write by the tough times he’s seeing all around him now as people struggle to cope with the health and financial challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

So much need, so much competition, so many complications in sourcing the vital supplies and ensuring they are the real thing. She’s very careful after purchasing masks that caused her a severe allergic action – and turned off to be fakes. Unbelievable.

Andrea reached out to Covidhealth in Waterloo Region hoping to tap into the hand sanitizer production ramped up among a group of small local distilleries, around the region and beyond. For months now, they have been churning out the precious concoction made to the World Health Organization’s recipe; 80% alcohol.

Once Andrea got to know all about what Covidhealth has been up to – raising both awareness and funds, as well as coordinating the production and distribution of PPE for frontline workers – she got herself and her institutions on the recipient list – and wanted to give back.

Having become good friends with Jay Smith (in fact, his agent)  over the last few years, she found out that sure enough – he was polishing up a song he’s been moved to write by the tough times he’s seeing all around him now as people struggle to cope with the health and financial challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Jay Singing “I’ve Got You”

 

Jay Singing “I’ve Got You”

Together they decided that it would be just the ticket to help launch a big campaign getting underway through Covidhealth. It’s the #behumankind T-shirt fundraiser. Two former frontline workers have teamed up to help Covidhealth in several ways, including produce a podcast to put listeners in touch with everything the organization is doing to secure PPE and get it to where it’s needed. For the T-shirt campaign, they got all the product donated and 100% of sales will go into Covidhealth’s efforts.

Andrea – being the creative type – not to mention a natural at marketing! put forward that if Canadian Ryan Reynolds can sell his T-shirt – self-described as  “plain and boring with just COVID-19 across the front and available in one boring colour” that she could find a celebrity to sell the behumankind t-shirts in a friendly rivalry, and all for a good cause. What she came up is a “more boring shirt that reads 91-DIVOC – (COVID-19 backwards) – available in two boring colours”.

Now they hope to land Toronto Maple Leaf #91 John Tavares, as their own “star sales rep”, although he hasn’t signed on … yet. (John, waddya say???)

The musician’s wife is a health-care worker, he has children and is in touch with many fellow musicians and fans whose lives are on hold and futures uncertain. In his view it’s incredibly important in these crazy times to get back to the deep connections with family and community.

Andrea Daniel says that is the essence of the man:

Together they decided that it would be just the ticket to help launch a big campaign getting underway through Covidhealth. It’s the #behumankind T-shirt fundraiser. Two former frontline workers have teamed up to help Covidhealth in several ways, including produce a podcast to put listeners in touch with everything the organization is doing to secure PPE and get it to where it’s needed. For the T-shirt campaign, they got all the product donated and 100% of sales will go into Covidhealth’s efforts.

Andrea – being the creative type – not to mention a natural at marketing! put forward that if Canadian Ryan Reynolds can sell his T-shirt – self-described as  “plain and boring with just COVID-19 across the front and available in one boring colour” that she could find a celebrity to sell the behumankind t-shirts in a friendly rivalry, and all for a good cause. What she came up is a “more boring shirt that reads 91-DIVOC – (COVID-19 backwards) – available in two boring colours”.

Now they hope to land Toronto Maple Leaf #91 John Tavares, as their own “star sales rep”, although he hasn’t signed on … yet. (John, waddya say???)

The musician’s wife is a health-care worker, he has children and is in touch with many fellow musicians and fans whose lives are on hold and futures uncertain. In his view it’s incredibly important in these crazy times to get back to the deep connections with family and community.

Andrea Daniel says that is the essence of the man:

“A heart as big as the world, a generous loving man to his wife and girls, his many friends in the music business and fans who have followed him for years. When he gives, he gives from the heart.”

Andrea Daniel

“A heart as big as the world, a generous loving man to his wife and girls, his many friends in the music business and fans who have followed him for years. When he gives, he gives from the heart.”

Andrea Daniel

“I’m from Nova Scotia and can feel kind of disconnected in the big city – especially in the aftermath of the shooting massacre near my hometown that took the lives of two friends – and in the midst of all the pain and anxiety of COVID-19”

Bringing Smitty into the #behumankind campaign and getting involved herself feels like a way to put out a message of real hope.

The official release of Jay Smith’s COVID-29 anthem “I’ve Got You” will take place online – at Covidhealth.ca

Let’s hope everyone who tunes in to listen is in the same frame of mind and heart – full of hope and committed to help.

“I’m from Nova Scotia and can feel kind of disconnected in the big city – especially in the aftermath of the shooting massacre near my hometown that took the lives of two friends – and in the midst of all the pain and anxiety of COVID-19”

Bringing Smitty into the #behumankind campaign and getting involved herself feels like a way to put out a message of real hope.

The official release of Jay Smith’s COVID-29 anthem “I’ve Got You” will take place online – at Covidhealth.ca

Let’s hope everyone who tunes in to listen is in the same frame of mind and heart – full of hope and committed to help.

Written by: Janine Sharp

Written by: Janine Sharp