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This Facebook feature can help you help others in pandemic

Facebook has activated its Community Help tool that enables people to offer assistance, and ask for it, too.

The move comes as the U.S. and other countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with a growing number of people around the world ordered to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Community Help — launched in 2017 as part of Facebook’s Safety Check feature — provides a way for neighbors to contact one another to check that everything is OK, and to act if it isn’t.

“Today we’re announcing Community Help, a place for people to request or offer help to neighbors, such as volunteering to deliver groceries or donating to a local food pantry or fundraiser,” the social networking giant said in a message on Tuesday, March 31. “You can access Community Help in the COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook or by visiting”

The Community Help tool has been activated for Facebook users in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and Australia, with more countries to be added in the coming weeks.

While plenty of people on Facebook are already using the platform to offer assistance to others, Community Help serves to bring the efforts together under one roof. Content can be viewed according to your geographical location, with filters enabling speedy access. The help radius has been set at 50 miles from your location, though you can reduce it if you wish.

The U.S. currently has 188,578 recorded cases of COVID-19, with just over 4,000 recorded deaths. The next two weeks are expected to be a particularly difficult time, with numbers expected to surge.

In related news, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week posted a short video (below) honoring people’s collective effort during this challenging period.

“We made a short film Never Lost to honor the solidarity and resilience of so many people coming together during this time,” Zuckerberg wrote in his post, adding, “Thank you to everyone doing your part.”

Last week it emerged that Facebook has seen a massive rise in the use of its various apps as people stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis and consequently spend more time online.

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