When a wayward 20-year old decided to get clean and turn his life around, he returned home to regroup, and his mother welcomed him back. The single mother, however, had but one bed in her small apartment, and though she conceded it to her son, he turned it down and slept on the floor. The mom then sought help in the digital world, and 15 minutes after she put out a call for a bed, she was answered. This is just one example of the many ways an Atlante-based group is helping those in need using new technology. Turning social media into social activism media, beremedy directly connects people who are in need of help with people who have the desire, time, and means to assist other and truly be the remedy.
Groups and organizations dedicated to helping people sign up to the service, and from there they can post specific needs for specific people. Once a need is posted, members of that community who have enlisted on beremedy as ones who can help will be alerted to the need, and can then take action.
Beremedy uses other networks like Facebook and Twitter to alert members of people who are in need in their community. The group also sends text messages or email when a need is posted to get the word out to all the members.
An example of an alert can be seen here, as a group sought two twin beds for the children of a family that had fallen on hard times. This ‘new need,’ as it’s called, was fulfilled nearly instantaneously, as in 30 minutes two twin sized mattresses and platforms were donated to the family.
Needs are mostly in the form of items, as opposed to money, with groups looking for basic items such as sandals, calculators, or beds to give out to those in need.
It was founded by Blake Canterbury in 2009, using the connective power of social media to create positive and substantial change. The service is yet another example of the ways in which social media can streamline a discourse and connect people instantly. Whereas athletes and celebrities can talk directly to fans, and journalists can break stories in 140 characters, beremedy links up a person in need with a person who can help.
Founder Blake Canterbury helps out during the beremedy Bookbag Challenge Credit:
The organization gained a great deal of publicity last week with a feature on CNN, alerting people around the country and the world to the cause. Hopefully there will be the impetus to create offshoots in other cities and regions, bringing together generous individuals with groups in need.
There is little reason why the group can’t expand, and no reason it shouldn’t. So often it is simply information that keeps people from acting; they may not know who, how, or where to donate, or even what for that matter. Beremedy by no means replaces other charities, but it gives people to the opportunity to donate with confidence, knowing exactly what it needed and seeing it through a specific donee.
What’s more, beremedy also gives people a chance to help in ways they might not have known. Many of the items called for may be sitting around unused. It also stands to reason that people make trips to donate goods only when they amass a large amount of stuff; no one would think to drop off a lone calculator to Good Will, but with beremedy, that may be just what an elementary school child is looking for.