New ‘Fill a Need’ Facebook page aims to provide neighborly aid in hard times
A new Facebook page, “Fill a Need in Ozark County,” has been created to help local people in need of assistance.
Gainesville resident Brandi Dunnermann started the page in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she says the page “doesn’t have to just be for COVID-19. It could for anything, anytime during the year.”
The page “is about connecting people in need with those that are able to fill that need. It is a non-judgmental, non-discriminatory page that offers assistance to those that need it,” Dunner-mann said
She started “Fill a Need” after she saw the outpouring of compassion in response to a post she shared on her personal Facebook page about a mother struggling to find baby formula.
“I have seen other areas being bought out because adults are hoarding it for their own use because formula has a longer shelf life than regular milk does. Moms with new babies are struggling to find formula to feed their babies,” she said. The mother, who was not from Ozark County, was able to find formula, but the response of her friends and neighbors inspired Dunnermann to do something locally.
“People have told me they want to help any way they can,” she said.
Residents are encouraged to send private messages to the page to ask for whatever help they need - from senior citizens needing rides to families struggling after a house fire. The names of those seeking assistance will not be publicly shared on the page so that they remain anonymous.
“The donor won’t know who they are helping out, and the recipient won’t know who the donor was. Everything is kept confidential,” said Dunnerman.
Currently, the assistance is coordinated online and through word of mouth, Dunnermann said, adding that a phone number may be set up later.
The page was created March 14 and had reached 182 followers by Tuesday morning, March 17. Currently, the group has more volunteers willing to help out or donate than it has needs to fill, but Dunnermann predicts things will balance out as time goes on. People have already volunteered to help pick up groceries and to donate formula and diapers for those who need help.
“It makes me happy to see our community come together like this,” she said.
Those in need, and those interested in lending a hand, can connect with the group by following ‘Fill a Need in Ozark County’ on Facebook.