Amid the doom and gloom of news about the coronavirus and its impact on daily life, a group of Canberrans are helping to those who need it most in the community, one Facebook post at a time.
Made up of more than 2000 people, the Canberra Region Coronavirus Mutual Aid Facebook group has helped carry out acts of kindness for those most affected by social isolation measures.
The group's organiser Tamara Kurtz said group members have helped do grocery runs, supply toilet paper or meals for those who are unable to do so or for those socially isolated.
"The purpose of the group is to set up resources and information for people across Canberra," Ms Kurtz said.
"If a specific need arises, people in the group message to say they can meet those needs for others in the community.
"Some people who are plumbers even offered to fit bidets for people who can't get toilet paper."
The idea for the Facebook group started last weekend, after seeing similar Facebook groups pop up in other cities across Australia.
More than 500 people joined the group to help others in just the first 24 hours, rising to 1800 members in the space of a week.
Localised groups have also been set up for individual Canberra suburb for those who need help closer to home, such as having access to face masks.
Ms Kurtz said a key part of the group was handing out flyers across Canberra suburbs supplying information about the group with a list of available resources, letting more people know about the service.
"Our flyers are being dropped in letterboxes and they all have links to Google documents so they can add in things they need or ways they can help out," she said.
"It's a systematic approach and each local group is different to the one next to it. For us, it's a centralised pool of what requests people need so they can be answered by others."
Ms Kurtz said she had been blown away by the emphatic response of the Canberra community.
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However, she said she was not surprised by the willingness of the Canberra community to help others in a crisis.
"People are inclined to help others and there's a natural inclination to help others," she said.
"There's been a range of demographics helping and offering up ways they can like older people and younger people as well as students.
"In the span of a few weeks, coronavirus has changed the lives of billions of people around the world, without a known finishing time of the crisis."
While many in the community have been fearful during the coronavirus crisis, Ms Kurtz said the Facebook group had proved to be a bright spot to many in Canberra. "It says who we are as a community and we're supporting vulnerable community members and giving them the best way to get through this," she said.
If you can help, contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0421 609 723.
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