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The power of social media: How a Facebook group has become a resource for Broome County

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BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) -- Once the coronavirus pandemic made its way to the Southern Tier, people were looking for answers.

"Local friends were having difficulty finding things to buy. People were hoarding, people were running out of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and I just saw a lot of people asking where they could get things," said Todd Quigley of Endicott.

Todd thought he would be able to help out.

"One thing I do as a hobby, I'm medically disabled so I don't work, I've been running Facebook groups for various things. And it just occurred to me, this would be perfect, I could put together a centralized resource where people could find things," he said.

Todd and his wife Heather started the Facebook group, 'COVID-19 Broome County NY Support.'

"We've been averaging about a thousand people a day joining," said Heather.

As of Thursday morning, the group had nearly 9,000 members. According to the most recent census data, that's just under 5% of Broome County. And the number continues to grow.

"We did not think that it was going to get this big this quick," said Heather.

"Surprisingly enough, we started getting members from all around the world actually. People who live in the area would invite everyone they knew on their friends list, or people who used to live in Binghamton," said Todd.

While the group covers a ton of people, it also covers a ton of topics.

From school updates, to donation drop-offs, to creative ways you can get involved in the community.

"I think that's just really amazing that our group inspired others to start helping out," said Todd.

It's all material available at your fingertips.

"So they have literally an access to all the local information right on their phone," said Todd.

Reminding people while they're isolated, it's important to stay connected, even if it's through a screen.

"We try to make as many resources as possible for our community because there's so many needs everywhere and this way people know exactly what is happening right now," said Heather.

And not only is it keeping people informed, it's bringing Broome together when people need each other most.

"It brought out a lot of people that want to help in their communities," said Todd.

The Quigleys started groups for surrounding counties as well, being run by volunteers.

They say they are appreciative of those who have stepped up to become moderators, ensuring the group runs smoothly.

Click here to get to the COVID-19 Broome County NY Support group on Facebook.

Annie Flaherty

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