Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Blake Canterbury, founder of BeRemedy.org, which is a smart new idea for using social media to enlist community support to solve problems within that community. here’s what he had to share.
SM: Blake, real pleasure to meet you. Tell us, what is BeRemedy?
BC: BeRemedy is the simplest way for you to help other people. We go into local communities, partner with non-profits, then use crowd-sourcing to drive donations of time, money and items to these non-profits.
SM: What inspired you to start BeRemedy?
BC: It started with an internal struggle. Growing up, I saw people who had a lot, and saw people who had nothing. So as I grew up I wrestled with that struggle. Then social media came along. I looked at this and said, “We have the potential to send a message to millions of people at one time. If we could create a sustainable model to do connect those people in need, then we can figure out a solution to some problems.”
SM: What are some of the results you’ve got and how many people’s lives have you effected?
BC: In just about a year and a half, we’ve helped over 115,000 people.
SM: Give us a specific example of what that might look like. How does it work?
BC: We use the example that a remedy can come in the form of a six-year-old kid, or a multi-million dollar organization. One day, we posted a need that a single mom needed a car seat to bring her baby home from the hospital. So we posted that need, blasted it through Facebook and Twitter, and it came up in a Facebook stream in a Mom’s house. Her six-year-old daughter walked up to the computer to play on it, saw her post and said “Mom, somebody needs a car seat. What about mine?” So literally a six-year-old was a remedy for somebody else.
SM: You’ve had some recognition on CNN which is pretty exciting. What happened there?
BC: CNN ran a couple stories on us. The second one they ran was on Twitter’s five year anniversary. They said that there were three reasons that Twitter is here to stay. One was the Egyptian uprising (how they used it to overthrow government). Two was Charlie Sheen (how he generated two million followers in 24 hours). Three was BeRemedy.
SM: What can we expect from BeRemedy in the future?
BC: We’re building a social tool to take what we’re doing in Atlanta to take it nationwide, and worldwide eventually. It’s going to interact people, non-profits and business practices to create long-term solutions.
SM: If people want to support you, how can they do that? Where can they find you?
BC: Yeah there’s the basics like Twitter and Facebook, which is a great way to stay in touch with us and see the needs. But on our website there’s an email sign-up form and if you’ll go there and sign up, as we get ready to launch other cities, we’re going to notify other people through that email sign up. We’d love to have you help us bring BeRemedy to your city and be the advocate so you can be the remedy for somebody else.
SM: Fantastic. Blake it is such a pleasure to meet you. Congratulations on the work. Anyone watching, if you could, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and sign up on their website. Thanks a lot, Blake.