'We get a lot of gratitude': Community Facebook site helps Barrie families in pandemic

·1 min read

Nikki Glahn just happened to start her community Facebook site, Barrie Families Unite, at the beginning of a pandemic.

“I was intent on creating a space for the community,” site moderator Glahn said. “Then we just got the news that spring break was being extended by two weeks.”

Barrie Families Unite, which had 2,300 members within two days of its March 14 launch, became the place to go to make connections.

Glahn made sure it was free of social media trolls intent on negativity.

“We just don’t have time for that, especially when everyone is vibrating with such a high level of anxiety,” she said.

BFU’s first campaign came in May, when temperatures started to rise.

“The stores were all closed and all of sudden there was nowhere to shop for kids’ summer stuff.”

The site came to the rescue again in September, when children needed masks to wear to school. More than 500 masks were donated and distributed to families in need.

“It’s a lot of work but holy smokes we get a lot of gratitude from people that we help.”

Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance