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Lowcountry Strong: Woman starts Charleston COVID-19 network of 6,000+ people

Updated: Apr. 8, 2020 at 7:25 AM EDT
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WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry woman was nominated for Live 5′s “Lowcountry Strong” series because of her work to coordinate efforts for those in need during this time.

Renee Orth created the Facebook group Charleston United COVID Response network which has reached more than 6,000 people.

“I just knew that given the situation...this level of crisis was really going to require a new level of coordination and cooperation," Orth said. “I do believe the power of social media can be a force for good if we use it right."

The group has forms to fill out for people who are in need of assistance and for people who would like to help. People post in the group multiple times a day about food distribution sites, who is making masks, resources for the homeless and much more.

Orth also runs a non-profit called The Stone Soup Collective which organizes people to make soup for those in need, especially the elderly and the homeless. During this pandemic, she has been dropping off donated ingredients to volunteers’ homes. Once the soup is made, volunteers pick it up and deliver it to people around the Lowcountry.

“I love food,” volunteer Denise Fugo said. When asked why she helps with The Stone Soup Collective, she got tears in her eyes.

“I interview homeless people and it’s just tragic that our country allows this. We have starving people and we have people that don’t get to sleep in a bed every night and don’t have the right to go to the hospital,” she added. "That’s why I do it.”

Orth was nominated because she’s done so much for the community before and during the pandemic.

“We have really two choices when we are faced with a crisis like this that is out of our personal control," she said. “Fear-based, which is more internal, or come to the community in love and be others-centered.”

She says making a difference for those in the Lowcountry keeps her grounded.

Click here to read more about the network she created on Facebook. If you aren’t on that social network, you can click here for information.

If you know someone or a group of people making the Lowcountry a better place during this time, you can tell us about it by filling out this form. You can also email Abbey O’Brien at aobrien@live5news.com and you might see them recognized on Live 5 News.

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