In North Delta, community is more than just a word, thanks in part to connections being made on social media.
Melanie Anderson knows firsthand the power of a supportive community, through the fundraising and love shown to her family. Anderson’s husband has ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and her son has autism and epilepsy, all of which requires her to be a full-time caregiver.
Despite this (or perhaps in spite of it) Anderson works hard to support her community right back, and social media has made this an easier task to accomplish from home.
Enter the North Delta Community Corner, a locally-oriented Facebook group started by Randy Mann, a local Realtor with RE/Max Blueprint Realty. Mann recognized that North Delta residents needed a place to easily connect, and so he created one just for us.
“I’d recently met many new homebuyers who weren’t aware of our neighbourhoods, like Annieville, Nordel and Sunshine Hills; they just wanted to come and live in North Delta,” Mann said. “The North Delta Community Corner is a virtual community bulletin board as well as a forum for discussion, and a place to demonstrate – and grow – our community pride.”
The Facebook page has met with overwhelming success, gaining more than 2,500 members since starting up in September, and represents a diverse cross-section of local residents and businesses. And the community pride is growing too, as people meet their neighbours, learn about local events, causes and businesses, and even (gasp!) meet up in real life.
“We now have an excuse to introduce ourselves. I’ve had so many customers say hi because of the group,” said Jason Davidson, owner of M&M Food Markets (1 – 11161 84th Ave). “And I recently went into Southridge Hardware and began talking with Kristina [Deane] like I’d known her for years, even though we’d never met in person.”
Deane has had similar experiences herself.
“We’re seeing new faces at the store, and people are mentioning they came because of positive reviews from Facebook.”
These social media connections are becoming social offline and bonding community members.
Recently, Anderson took a non-driving newcomer and her kids out to get some milk. The young mom had previously posted in the group looking for information on how to access taxis and transit.
For Anderson, this kind welcome is no big deal.
“It helps us all to know we have caring and supportive people around us,” she said. “The beauty of this group is now, we know each other.”