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TESTIMONIAL. “I created a solidarity network which generated 17 million dollars”

It was in reaction to the psychosis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic that Shelly Tygielski, a teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wanted to create a local solidarity network. Faced with the pandemic of fear, she advocates that of love. “From the start of the pandemic, I began to see fear seeping out on my social networks and on those of my friends, explains the young woman. I wanted to see the opportunity to create and strengthen the bonds of love between us by a local system of solidarity. ” Shelly is quick to put her idea into practice.

“I posted on March 14 a video calling for the creation of a support network with two registration forms, one for the request for help and the other for the offer of support. The next day, j ‘had already received 400 requests and 500 offers, “she recalls. With the health crisis, more than 41 million Americans have been unemployed in two months and many homes are struggling. His idea is going viral, and #PandemicOfLove goes viral. Her posts are even shared by celebrities like American actresses Debra Messing (Will and Grace, Irresistible) or Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, The Good Place).

“People want to create microcommunities all over the world”

Shelly, who was targeting a local network, quickly found herself inundated with thousands of forms from across the United States. “In the first 24 hours, I received an email offering to create a Pandemic Of Love community in San Francisco. Now I receive at least twenty emails daily from people who want to create microcommunities around the world, in Barcelona, in Lisbon … ”

Its website, pandemicoflove.com, which connects people eager to help and those in need, was quickly translated into Spanish for the Latin American community. At the beginning of May, the contributors had provided financial assistance of 17 million dollars, or 15.2 million euros, through more than 120,000 connections. But money was not the only element of exchange: “People mostly discussed, shared, and even befriended.” The teacher hopes that her “love pandemic” will continue to spread and that it will remain a vector of donations for the post-coronavirus.

“A lot of good things can go viral”

“On a personal level, it showed me that individual action can make a difference by allowing so many acts of kindness to come together. While viruses are scary things, the word viral isn’t necessarily negative. . Lots of positive things can go viral, like hope, faith and love. And love is good medicine. Proof with Pandemic of Love! ”

Shelly Tygielski, a teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, came up with the idea of ​​creating the local solidarity network Pandemic of Love. © FACEBOOK SHELLY TYGIELSKI MEDITA

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