WEST MONROE, La (04/08/20) — “That’s really what the group is about–it’s to allow people to have an opportunity to do something in the midst of what’s happening in our world right now,” said Brandon Rodgers, Co-Creator of NELA Needs Facebook Group.
The NELA Needs Facebook group started about three weeks ago, and since then over 7,500 people joined the group to either post or help a need.
“We’ve been trying to fulfill information and meet needs for cleaning supplies for housing, people are starting to post information about employment and work, SNAP benefits, all sorts of things that are trying to hit people where they’re at as they’re stuck in their homes,” said Rodgers.
But it’s not just employment and SNAP help, one woman is buying groceries for families who aren’t able to get to the store right now.
“It started mostly with NELA needs and some people see my name on there and they’re kind of embarrassed to ask for help on that site, so then they come to me through Facebook messenger,” said Gail Cupit, Member of NELA Needs.
Cupit says she trys to get enough food and supplies for a 2 week period. When she first started the grocery runs, she asked for donations of $5 to feed a family of 9. “From that, donations started pouring in. As of last night, we had taken in over $22,000. We have now spent over $20,000 so my donations are incredibly low right now,” said Cupit.
When Cupit picks up the groceries, she takes them directly to the front door of the family in need and leaves them there to practice social distancing and keep others safe by wearing gloves and a mask. She says seeing how the community is responding to the pandemic is truly inspiring.
“To ask for $5 and to end up with $22,000 in donations, speaks volumes about our community and them wanting to help others,” said Cupit. To donate to the grocery fund you can find Cupit on Venmo at “gail-cupit” or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The NELA Needs Facebook Group link is here.