A local Facebook group that formed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is hoping to reach those in need and connect them with those willing to help.

Mutual Aid Infrastructure — Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro” formed March 13 and has already surpassed 3,500 members.

Shining Phaup, one of the page’s founders, said she’s launched similar groups in the past including a Mutual Aid Charlottesville group and one after the events of Aug. 12 in Charlottesville.

The group offers Google Forms for those wanting to volunteer, as well as those needing help. The forms allow the group’s administrators to connect local people in the area.

“Besides the Google Forms, we’ve got people connecting and posting things they need like daycare or ‘Hey, do you know where I can find toilet paper?’ People are out and about posting pictures of “Hey, this store has Klorox wipes now,” so people can find the things that they need,” Phaup said.

In addition, Mutual Aid of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro has a website at www.mutualaidsaw.com and a Twitter @mutualaidsaw.

While Phaup says she’s unsure if the group will exist after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, she says for now they’re focused on the immediate needs in the community.

“Everybody is welcome,” she said. “People can give as much or as little of themselves as they want to, but if they do have a need or are looking for a way to help others it’s an excellent place for them to go.”


Logan Bogert is a reporter for The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Virginia. She can be reached at lbogert@newsvirginian.com or (540) 932-3562. Follow Logan on Twitter at @Logan_Bogert.

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