Social Media Group Connecting Communities in Need

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Here’s #SomethingGood to think about -- social media is helping us get through this pandemic in so many ways.

It’s especially true for those who have needs and don't know how to get through to anyone for help. That's where the "North Texas Coronavirus Co-Op" group on Facebook comes in.

It was created just two days after the pandemic was declared by Irving resident Mark Bauer. At the time, he said he was struggling with a respiratory illness and felt helpless about the situation.

"I thought, if my experience was anything like what other people experienced, people are going to feel pretty helpless,” he explained. “So I wanted to create an avenue for people to stay connected if they were fearful or were feeling helpless. And also if they needed anything. Resources are getting hard to come by."

Within just two weeks, the group grew to over 2,000 members and has been helping connect people with needs to the people willing to help. Bauer posts daily bulletins breaking down the latest information morning and night, along with words of inspiration.

"I think it really spoke to the need of having information that was clear and accurate,” Bauer said.

The good deeds in the group are endless: Elderly residents are getting support, mask makers are connecting to those who need supplies and one woman who couldn’t afford to feed her dog had food shipped to her home.

Nonprofit groups T.H.E.M DFW and Lonestar Human Services are partnering with the group for a fundraiser to get supplies to struggling communities. Someone even donated a car to sell to go toward the supply fund.

“After the school closures and the COVID-19 restrictions, pretty much everyone in a nonprofit or that has a passion for people wanted to step up. It was time to step up,” said Whitney Johnson of T.H.E.M. DFW. “No one needs to be left out. Because if someone is left out, then all of us are in trouble.”

Clients of T.H.E.M. DFW, which is supporting families in need with supplies during the pandemic. (Whitney Johnson)

Her nonprofit is currently focusing on gathering first aid and cleaning supplies for underserved communities across the Metroplex. They’re also securing transportation for those who need to get somewhere and are providing emotional support for individuals and families. A phone line is in the works for ease of access for the elderly.

Johnson said nothing is out of reach when there’s a network of dedicated people ready to answer the call for help.

“The families at T.H.E.M. are some of the most vulnerable families in North Texas. Many of them don’t have transportation, or disabled, or are single parents,” she said. “The Coronavirus Co-Op group has helped us get the word out. So many more eyes are on our causes.”

Lonestar Human Services pre-pandemic, serving children with programs like a community garden. Now, the non-profit is collecting supplies for these families. (Courtesy: Alli Scott)

Click here for more information on the fundraiser.

If you have a need or are willing to help someone, the group is open for the public to join. Just search "North Texas Coronavirus Co-Op" on Facebook or click here.

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