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Locals helping locals through Facebook

Crenshaw Help Exchange Facebook page was created by Lisa Michele last year. 

Lisa moved to Crenshaw County in 2000 and graduated from Highland Home High School in 2004. In 2014, she made the move to Luverne where she currently lives with her husband and two sons. 

The help exchange Facebook page came about when Lisa traveled to Shelby County to help her aunt who is completely disabled and lives alone. Once arriving at her aunt’s home, Lisa realized she did not know her way around or what the local resources were. Facebook was her go to for local groups and information. A local help exchange group she discovered when searching for help gave her the idea of a way she could help her local community. 

“I have always been one to help others,” Lisa said. “If I had things I wanted to get rid of I would always give them away for free. I have never done something on this scale. I enjoy helping others because it helps me. “

Lisa recalls several instances when she was able to help someone through the Crenshaw Cares Help Exchange page and weeks, sometimes months, down the road the person she helped would return the favor by helping someone else on the page.  Sometimes the person may only be able to give a few dollars, but those few dollars are priceless to someone who is honestly in need. 

“That is my favorite part because they have struggled and received help and they want to repay it because they fill it in their heart,” Lisa said. 

Helping people who fall through the cracks is what the page is all about. It is a way to help community members who may not qualify for other resources that are available because they make a few dollars over the limit, such as food stamps. 

Lisa is quick to tell you that the help exchange page is not hers, it is the communities. 

“The page is by the citizens for the citizens,” said Lisa. “I just oversee it and make stuff happen.”

Information that may benefit the community is shared often, such as local school and community events, local eatery reviews, job openings, and emergency management posts.

People who try and take advantage of the page will be promptly removed. Every member is asked to give in some way, not just take. People are encouraged to give by helping someone else in need, share information on the page, and promote local businesses. People never received money directly when they ask for help with a bill, such as help paying an electric bill. Money would be paid directly to the company and never given in person. 

She invites anyone to post county relevant information such as job openings. Lisa would really like to have any churches that would like another avenue to help the community members in need to reach out to her. Rental property information is a repeat question on her page and any rental information is also appreciated greatly.