One small business in Helena is using their skills to connect people online during this time of uncertainty and often greater need.
Deanna Johnson owns Edge Marketing and Design. She recently worked to create a website that operates like an app, called "Cup of Sugar."
The goal of the site is to connect someone with a specific need, like diapers or food, with another person in their same town who can help fill that need — almost like Facebook Marketplace.
Johnson said using social media to get help is often clunky and confusing, so she created a dedicated site to solve the problem.
It's free to sign up. Once you register, you can list individual needs. Other registered users can check them out and contact you through the site if they can help.
Once the users are connected and someone gets help, the need is checked off.
“You wouldn't hesitate to, you know, pick up the phone and call your neighbor and say, ‘I'm short an egg, do you got one?’” said Johnson. “You know, something like that, and that whole attitude. A cup of sugar from your neighbor is the same.”
She said right now was the perfect time to launch this site, since many people are out of work and might need additional help from their communities.
No money can be exchanged through the site — only goods or services.
The website is live across the country and works best on a phone, according to Johnson. They’re also working on adding an update so people can list goods or services they can offer.
They’re welcoming feedback as they launch it and encourage people to sign up and try it.
Johnson said people can practice common sense when it comes to safety and social distancing — perhaps by leaving items on a porch.