Facebook Unveils New Feature That Allows Communities to Help Those in Need Amid Coronavirus
Users can offer or request help from people in their communities, as well as make donations to COVID-response efforts
Facebook is introducing its newest feature to help those impacted by novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Tuesday, the social networking site announced a new page called Community Help, where users can go to help their neighbors who are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new feature, which was built after Facebook saw an increase in posts about helping others, allows people to set a filter that specifies their location and mile radius, within 50 miles or less.
They also have the option of choosing the ability to give or receive help, and the category in which they’re looking to contribute, including baby supplies, business support, food, information, toiletries, transportation, and volunteer work.
From there, users can create new posts stating what they’re searching for or looking to do. Those wanting to help can also respond to already-existing requests to offer their services.
Since its launch, Facebook has seen posts from people offering to deliver groceries and run errands, provide mental health support, financial assistance, and specific supplies, volunteer to distribute food through local food banks, and even donate blood to those in need.
People also have the option to help by donating to Facebook’s COVID-response efforts, which are highlighted on the Community Help page.
These include UNF/WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund Fundraiser, which has raised over $5.3 million, and the U.S.-based Combat Coronavirus with the CDC Foundation Fundraiser, which has brought in over $5.4 million.
For both fundraisers, Facebook also agreed to match donations, up to $10M on each — something they’ve already accomplished in less than three weeks.
More fundraisers are expected to be highlighted in the coming days and weeks.
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In addition, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his page Tuesday that the social networking site made a short film called “Never Lost” that aims to “honor the solidarity and resilience of so many people coming together during this time.”
This film will be running on Facebook’s TV and digital channels and encourages those who need help or can give help to reach out through their community page.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 183,532 cases and 3,727 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to The New York Times.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.