Auburn junior Eric Savage helped a lot of his friends move last semester. He helped put a lot of perfectly good couches, chairs, tables, and beds out on the curb. That’s what did it.
“I was really convicted after helping people move in and out of their apartments about how much furniture people throw away because it’s inconvenient for them to move it or they don’t have room to transport it,” Savage says. “There are people that drive around and were dumpster diving to take these gently used resources for themselves. We could be donating those items to someone in need and Beremedy gives us the medium to do it.”
Started in 2009, Beremedy—short for Be The Remedy—helps to facilitate the work of service organizations and charities at “the speed of social media”—and that isn’t just a slogan. A promotional video on the group’s website claims that needs vetted and advertised via the non-profit’s network—single mom needs blankets, family needs a new bed—are typically met in five minutes or less, allowing those who sign up to receive updates to become Good Samaritans simply with a retweet. The company has received national media attention including profiles on both CNN.com and Huffington Post.
“Everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life wanted to help other people; they just didn’t know where to start,” founder Blake Canterbury told CNN. “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.”
Savage met Canterbury when they were both speaking on the power of social media at AU’s Challenge Auburn leadership conference in 2012. The two have remained friends (Savage says Canterbury is actually an Auburn fan) and have discussed the potential of bringing Beremedy’s proven strategy to Auburn and Opelika. Savage has even made establishing a local Beremedy presence part of his platform for SGA Presidential platform (Auburn is holding its student elections next week).
“Auburn and Opelika have needs that Auburn students can meet, but often these needs go unmet because we never hear about it,” Savage says. “We have incredible community service groups and organizations through the university, like Big Event that give back. However, there are daily needs that can be met. There are those who want to help, but don’t know how and that is what Beremedy is all about.”
“Instead of throwing away old furniture when we are moving to a new apartment or dorm at the end of the year, we could be providing it to those in need in our community simply by responding to a need we read on Twitter or Facebook”
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