Streamlining compassion

CNN tells the story of Beremedy, which uses social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs to streamline the donation of food, clothing and furniture to people in need:

Blake Canterbury is a charming 26-year-old with a background in new media marketing. He founded Beremedy in 2009, after flooding washed over parts of Atlanta, in order to get items such as baby formula and diapers to people in need.

“Everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life wanted to help other people; they just didn’t know where to start,” Canterbury says. “We thought, ‘What would this city look like with 10,000 people getting a text message at the same time of needs in their community? Surely people would want to help with that.”

The process is simple: Canterbury receives needs from nonprofits, school social workers and individuals looking for help directly on

Canterbury and a team of four volunteers use Google Wave to communicate about what needs they will accept or deny. Once a need is determined, a member of the team is assigned as case manager and writes a blurb about the story. Canterbury blasts out the write-up on Twitter and Facebook with a link back to the full story on Beremedy’s site.

“We’re putting a story behind it. We say maybe this is a single mom who needs a bed, maybe it’s a middle school kid who needs a pair of shoes, but you know the story. You may not know the exact individual, but you know the story and you feel like you’re connected and you know exactly where it’s going,” Canterbury says.

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