Neighbors using Nextdoor app to connect and help during COVID-19 pandemic

One silver lining right now is that we’re seeing people pull together to help their neighbors and community.

Many are relying on Nextdoor, a free app and website, that creates a social media platform for neighborhoods.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in the District, Maryland and Virginia

In Gaithersburg, Lyz Charter has started making face masks for the homeless in Montgomery County and D.C. She posted on Nextdoor when she couldn’t find supplies.

She said the response was overwhelming.

“I put out the word I was looking for elastic or ribbon or string, and I got an unbelievable amount of donations,” Charter said. “Fabric here was donated, the ribbon was donated. So people have been great. One woman also offered to do cutting for me, so she would do the cutting so I could do the sewing. Another woman offered to donate masks, so she’s doing another production of masks outside of me.”

Charter said she’s made almost 300 masks in two weeks.

Other posts from the area offer up tips on where to find necessities that are hard to get. Others stress the importance of social distancing. One man asked neighbors a simple question: “How are you doing?”

Multiple people have volunteered to go grocery shopping.

“I just posted on Nextdoor app that I would be willing to help anyone grocery shop who isn’t willing or able to do it,” said Amy Schwartz. “The elderly, anybody who’s in a compromised position. I’m perfectly fine to go grocery shopping for them and just to text me if they need it.”

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Nextdoor says this month, usage has increased 80 percent.

“Nextdoor was built to bring neighbors together—this is important in good times and essential in times of need,” said Sarah Friar, Nextdoor CEO. “People across the globe are reaching out to their neighbors on Nextdoor with kindness and offers of help.”