Coronavirus crisis sparks gatherings of online communities in Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake

New social media groups are helping people connect with people in need during the coronavirus concerns. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
New social media groups are helping people connect with people in need during the coronavirus concerns. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

New social media groups are helping people connect with people in need during the coronavirus concerns. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
New social media groups are helping people connect with people in need during the coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
As novel coronavirus cases continue to climb in Tarrant County, one Southlake resident realized he could not sit idly by.

Al Zito, a former Southlake City Council member, decided to create a forum for people to help each other. These took the shape of private Facebook groups for local communities. The first group was called “Southlake People Helping People.” Now there is also “Grapevine People Helping People,” “Colleyville People Helping People” and “Flower Mound People Helping People.” More groups are on the way, he said.

“I decided to move forward with my tiny corner of the world or circle of influence and started to put together a network of people that can express when they have need and whatever that need is, and then the corresponding network of people of volunteers and people that are able to offer assistance,” Zito said.

The Southlake group was created Saturday, March 14, and within 24 hours the group had grown to more than 800 members, he said. As of 5 p.m. March 18, the Southlake group now has more than 1,400 members.

Discussion in the group includes updates on where to find grocery items and making members aware of people in the community needing assistance with food or other necessities.


“We're establishing a foundation that I see is desperately needed on how we are going to be able to help each other moving forward, because there's certain people that just don't need to be out of their house or out in their car driving around,” Zito said. “This thing is just super contagious and it's got such a bad mortality rate for people of older age and immune or underlying health issues that it’s scary.”

Shortly after the Southlake group was created, Zito spun this version off into other groups in Grapevine, Colleyville and Flower Mound to further allow neighbors to help neighbors. This came after he realized it was easier for people to help others if they did not have to travel great distances, Zito said.

There is no agenda other than to help people, he said.

“We're trying to put resources together and the understanding of what resources that are out there together with the needs of people,” Zito said.

These human connections have helped a local facility provide toilet paper to clients, and have also helped a mother under quarantine get ingredients for her daughter’s birthday, Zito said. Needs were expressed and met while still maintaining responsible social distancing through these virtual forums, he said.

“I think we're going to find that social media is going to become a very critical part of all of our lives and also the tie that binds us in what's going to keep us together,” he said. “We’ve got challenging times ahead. And the way we’re going to get through it is together.”
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


MOST RECENT

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

baseball jerseys, two baseball bats and three baseball gloves
Not Just Soccer athletic apparel, equipment store to open in Southlake June 25

Not Just Soccer offers athletic apparel, youth and adult clothes, cleats and other equipment.

Bojangles recently announced it signed a franchise agreement to open a new location in Richardson. (Courtesy Bojangles)
Bojangles fried chicken coming to Richardson; bar and grill opens at Grapevine golf course and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Owners Kennon Rider and Lisa Reber are expanding their store into Grapevine. (Courtesy The B-12 Store)
Vitamin retailer The B-12 Store to open in Grapevine Mills this summer

The B-12 Store sells vitamin shots and is planning to open a location in Grapevine in July.

Persimmons Bar & Grill will be managed by Coury Hospitality, which also runs Hotel Vin and Harvest Hall. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Persimmons Bar & Grill now open at Grapevine Golf Course

Persimmons Bar & Grill will be managed by Coury Hospitality and will be the company's third venture in the city of Grapevine.

Mesero has six locations across the metroplex, with a seventh on the way in Southlake. (Courtesy Mesero)
Tex-Mex restaurant may come to Southlake; African fusion eatery opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Cava will be opening a new location in Southlake. (Courtesy of Cava)
Fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant Cava sets Southlake opening for June 18

Cava is known for its build-your-own bowls and its dips, spreads and sauces.

Mesero has six locations across the metroplex, with a seventh on the way in Southlake. (Courtesy Mesero)
Tex-Mex restaurant Mesero eyes Southlake for seventh location

Mesero is known for its brisket tacos and shrimp-loaded ceviche. The Southlake location's opening is scheduled for the end of 2021.

Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.