HOUSTON — Seven months into this pandemic, and so many of our neighbors still need help. Crowdsource Rescue, a nonprofit formed during Hurricane Harvey, is pivoting from natural disasters to the national emergency.
Like so many of us, Judy Van Norman’s watched this pandemic absolutely wreck lives.
“It really is hard. You know, I think people are struggling in this particular situation that may have never struggled before,” Van Norman said. “On top of those who struggled on a day-to-day basis under good circumstances. People just need the basics. They need food. And you can help. And it’s so easy.”
Van Norman and her husband volunteer with Crowdsource Rescue.
“We started it in Hurricane Harvey. Somewhat accidentally, we started a website to organize rescues for our neighborhood,” said Crowdsource Rescue co-founder Matthew Marchetti. “It was really only supposed to help rescue, like, 20 or 30 people. But it wound up helping to rescue 25,000.”
Since 2017, Crowdsource Rescue has helped in 25 incidents nationwide. Marchetti and his co-founder don’t draw a salary. He still works a full-time job.
In March 2020, “We kind of started thinking is we can use the same technology that we used to help rescue in hurricanes to do food deliveries," he said.
When you log on to CrowdsourceRescue.org, you see the need. Today there are 596 active requests for food delivery. An interactive map allows you to zoom into a specific neighborhood or corner or the Greater Houston area.
“These are people that can’t get out of their house. So either they shouldn’t leave their house for health reasons or they don’t have transportation," Van Norman said.
You sign up online to help. You can donate to the cause or choose how many deliveries you want to make. You can choose the area. Choose the Houston Food Bank location. Van Norman loads up in Katy and delivers her way back to Cypress.
“I hope that more people will volunteer, but beyond that I just want people to know that, do this for the community but also do it for yourself,” Van Norman said.
“If everybody just does a little bit,” said Marchetti, the end result is something bigger and better. And just like we learned during Harvey, when we lean on each other, we become stronger. “It just sort of speaks to our city and how resilient we are and how much we love.”
Have car, can help. It’s that easy.