Home > The Scene

Brandon McBride helps underprivileged families during COVID-19

The Canadian 800m record-holder delivered grocery cards to eight families in Windsor

Canadian Olympian and 800m record-holder Brandon McBride has been keeping busy during lockdown, training, working on his master’s degree and helping out families in need in his hometown of Windsor, Ont. He and his girlfriend recently visited a Windsor FreshCo and purchased eight gift cards, which they then delivered to eight families around town, as reported by the CBC. McBride said he’ll look into taking more grocery cards to other families as the pandemic wears on, and he said he feels it is “a responsibility [of his] to give back to others.”

A helping hand

McBride told the CBC that he and his girlfriend wanted to help locals during the pandemic, so they reached out to a social worker in Windsor who recommended buying grocery cards and gave them addresses for the eight families. McBride and his girlfriend purchased cards between $100 and $200, depending on the family sizes. When delivering the cards, they “wanted to keep everyone safe,” so they put them in the families’ mailboxes to ensure they’d follow proper social distancing guidelines.

RELATED: Brandon McBride on what it takes to become a Canadian record holder

McBride said he wasn’t going to sign his name on the cards, but his mom and girlfriend convinced him to do it.

“You hear about people laid off from work, their bills are piling up and their rent and car payments are still due,” he said. “I felt in my spirit it was more a responsibility of mine to give back to others. It was the right time.”

RELATED: Brandon McBride breaks Canadian 800m record at Monaco Diamond League

Repeat volunteer

McBride isn’t new to helping out around his community. He’s spoken at schools and a conference for at-risk children, and he was recently featured in a video for the local Catholic school board to deliver a message of hope and optimism to students. Earlier this year, he and his girlfriend also helped kids to prepare for spelling bees.

“I like to work a lot with children,” he said. “I think about what I had as a child and maybe what I didn’t have most of the time. I didn’t have that person that was positive or a mentor-type when I was in high school. I try to give them that positive image.”

Working toward Tokyo 2021

McBride owns the Canadian 800m record of 1:43.20, and he competed at the Rio Olympics in 2016. He’s still training regularly during the pandemic and working toward his goal of competing at another Summer Games in Tokyo, which were postponed until next July.