Tiffany Zook and Janeene Young

Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition Officer and Secretary Tiffany Zook and Janeene Young take a cart full of packages donated by people across the country to the Chihuahua Neighborhood Facility Center. Donations began arriving in big piles after internationally known blogger Jill Krause shared the coalition’s needs and wish list with her online audience.

During their visit with the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition on Wednesday, Jill Krause, internationally known for her blog formerly titled “Baby Rabies,” and Meredith Walker, executive director and co-creator of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, agreed social media played a big part in sharing the coalition’s situation with a wider public beyond the city of Del Rio.

“Social media, a lot of people like to complain about it and there are reasons to complain about it, but it is also a great connector and that’s how people knew who needs this (the help and supplies),” Walker said.

Through social media the coalition has been sharing daily updates to the local community. It was not until Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition volunteer Lulu had a conversation with Krause that the coalition’s online presence increased.

Krause’s online following became aware of the coalition’s needs and continue to stay up to date with every status shared by the coalition. Krause added she has encouraged her followers to directly follow the coalition’s Facebook page instead of just relying on her for information.

“There’s something people can relate to when they see they just fed a family or they helped a family get to the next town,” Walker said.

During their visit, Krause and Walker also introduced the coalition to Amanda Weakley. Weakley took pictures throughout their visit at the Chihuahua Neighborhood Facility Center.

“We just connected this group with a woman that is really great on Instagram so they can do their own social outreach,” Krause said.

Weakley coached coalition officers and volunteers on how to get their Instagram account going, as well as multitasking by connecting the account to Facebook.

“She’s going to coach them how to get their Instagram going,” Krause said. This will allow the coalition to make one post on Instagram and the same post would be shared on Facebook.

Even with the technology lessons, the coalition will continue to see aid coming from Krause, Walker and Weakley. “We’ll always try to help them out,” Krause said.

The coalition officially launched their Instagram account last week and began sharing news with their audience.

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