March 26, 2020
Campaign group SumOfUs has launched Covid Support Network, a global platform to enable people to help or request support across borders.
Over 29,000 people have visited the platform, with over 1,600 people posting personal offers of support so far. Over 300 people have connected with each other using the network, including to provide legal advice to someone facing eviction, and to find a partner to play chess with online.
The website is inspired by the national Mutual Aid Networks which have popped up in the UK and other countries, but allows people to connect globally during this global crisis:
Emma Ruby-Sachs, Executive Director of SumOfUs, says
“It’s incredible to watch thousands of generous offers pour in, and to see those in isolation turning this moment into a chance for connection across thousands of miles and closed national borders. Watching this community grow shows me how strong our human family is, even in the face of a terrifying crisis.”
Covid Support Network has been inundated with offers of support from around the world which range from the more common offers of help with grocery shopping and prescription collection, all the way to offers from teenagers looking for new friends to play online games.
Already the website is producing heartwarming stories of human solidarity:
Kate Best, 34 from Toronto, was able to help someone get legal support to help with not being able to make rent,
“I was feeling incredibly useless with everything going on in the world. I wanted to help those in need, but couldn't figure out how to do it while maintaining a safe distance. I used SumOfUs' online tool to connect with a woman who faced eviction because she was struggling to pay her rent after losing work because of coronavirus, and put her in contact with a lawyer who was able to help. It felt like we were making a small difference in this chaos."
Rewan Al-Haddad found herself a 6 yr old chess adversary
"I live alone and had been in isolation for a week, so was itching to find a partner to play chess online with to keep me occupied. I posted on the Covid Support Network, and immediately a parent suggested I play with his 6 year old. I didn't realise my desire to play chess would turn into remote babysitting, but I'm delighted!"