In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, there was a huge outpouring of support via Facebook and other areas in St. Augustine. There were many homes in need and many volunteers who wanted to help out. We wanted a way to bring people together using technology, so we built stastrong.org. We put the site together in just a day and had it up and running for those who needed help or wanted to help. Those who needed assistance could submit a form to request service, then we listed those on a google spreadsheet which our volunteer teams could review and process. We had several hundred people volunteer to help in the weeks following the storm and have helped coordinate direct relief for hundreds of homes in the St. Augustine area.
After the first couple weeks, we transitioned to sending volunteers to a Facebook group to come together. They could connect online and meet up to help others still in need. Several volunteers, especially Sherry Walker and Suzanne Trefry, stepped up to help lead groups and many continue to do so today.
It’s during hard times like these that you can really see what a community is made of. Although the damage was severe, that didn’t keep people from staying strong and supporting one another. The community came together and was strengthened because of it. If you need assistance or know someone who does, Stastrong.org will continue to operate until St. Augustine has recovered from this devastating storm.