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Connecting in Crisis: A Few Bright Spots in a Dark Time

Organizations and campaigns are scaling up innovative outreach efforts to help the world cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jon Warnow

VP of Sales

For years, GetThru has provided powerful tools to help progressive organizations scale one-to-one communication: ThruText for texting and ThruTalk for phone calls. And from the beginning, we built these tools to be usable from anywhere — whether you’re at a buzzing campaign office or at home in your pajamas.

As the COVID-19 lock downs escalated leaving people isolated and struggling, many of us felt the natural instinct — and often an urgent need — for connection. We as people need food, medicine, and resources. We need accurate information. And we need to feel connected to one another — now more than ever.

Our team knew that we could help campaigns and organizations adapt to better connect with the communities they serve, so we launched the COVID-19 grant, which provided 10,000 free texts or calls (and a big discount after that) to organizations directly responding to the coronavirus. We also worked closely with existing and new clients to help them pivot from campaigning and organizing to wellness checks and connecting people to services.

Here’s a few examples of how organizations and campaigns are using GetThru tools to foster connection during the COVID-19 crisis -- there’s lots more where this came from, but hopefully these stories provide the positive news that so many of us could use right now:

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez

As recently covered in Vogue, volunteers for AOC have been calling constituents to do general wellness checks. Here’s the report from a constituent:

Volunteers with AOC’s office has made 50,000 calls using ThruTalk with a script asking for this kind of outreach. And for those in need, AOC and her volunteers are delivering — literally:

Listos California’s Social Bridging Project

Listos California launched an innovative calling program to scale up outreach to older adults throughout California.


As they put it:

“To address significant health risks faced by older Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new project will build bridges to older adults through tens of thousands of personal phone calls. The isolation often wrought by strict social distancing will be countered by “social bridging” through direct, one-on-one communications with older adults.”

We’re honored to be working with Listos California, and thrilled they were able to use the COVID-19 GetThru Grant to help launch this project. 

Suraj Patel for Congress

With traditional campaigning on hold, many candidates are reaching out to their neighbors — and potentially their future constituents — to try to provide a bit of support. One example of this is Suraj Patel, a candidate running for Congress in New York City — the epicenter of the pandemic.  His volunteers have been reaching out to thousands of people using ThruText with a simple message:

“Hi Michael, this is Jon, a volunteer with Suraj Patel for Congress. I just want to check and see how you're doing right now. We've compiled a list of community resources related to healthcare, employment, and small business support among other things. Would you like me to send it along?”

His volunteers were flooded with responses. Many were doing OK, but grateful for the check-in. Others were struggling, and eager to get more resources. And still others were so moved by this effort that they asked to volunteer themselves. 


Right now, the world is still in crisis. And in a crisis, there’s a natural human instinct to help — a hardwired desire to work together with others and rise to meet the moment. And many people are — doctors and nurses and frontline workers all over the world. To them, we all owe a deep debt of gratitude. 

But for many of us, the main thing we’re being asked to do is stay home. And though we all know the importance of social distancing, being stuck inside as a crisis threatens our communities can feel disempowering. So we’re grateful that so many of our clients are finding ways to help others while maintaining a safe distance — and we’re truly honored to provide useful tools to help people connect in this difficult and unprecedented time. 


Are you using GetThru tools to help the world adapt to the coronavirus? Do you want to? Drop us a line and let’s chat: hello@getthru.io

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jon Warnow

Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Jon has been using technology to promote social change for over a decade, including as a co-founder of 350.org, a global movement for action on climate change, and as a distributed organizer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

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