Facebook launches ‘Drives,’ a U.S.-only feature for collecting food, clothing and other necessities for people in need

Facebook today is introducing a new feature that will allow users in the U.S. to collect food, clothing, and other necessities for people in need. The feature, called “Drives,” is being made available through Facebook’s existing Community Help hub, which is the place where Facebook centralizes requests and offers for help within a local community.

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The Community Help hub was first launched in 2017 as a way for Facebook users to centralize their resources in the wake of a crisis, like a man-made, accidental or natural disaster, ranging from weather events to terrorist attacks, and more. In 2020, however, the feature has been put to broader use as a part of Facebook’s COVID-19 efforts, which even saw a version of Community Help feature scaled globally to help those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Now, with the economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., millions are out of work and 12 million may lose their unemployment benefits in December when CARES Act provisions lapse. Food insecurity and an inability to pay bills, including rent and mortgage payments, as well as manage other household expenses, are impacting millions as well.

With Drives, Facebook will allow users to create and share their own efforts in collecting items for those in need, like a Canned Food Drive that’s looking to gather items for local shelters, a Clothing Drive, or any other event where someone is working to collect items to help others.



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To create a Drive, type “Community Help” into Facebook Search to find the shortcut that takes you to the Community Help hub. From there, click the “Request or Offer Help” button, and on the bottom sheet that appears, click “Create Drive.” You can then fill out the form, setting a goal for the number of items you want to collect. When you post the Drive, others will be able to see what’s still needed with this goal tracker. Once created, the Drive will appear in your News Feed and Timeline like a regular post, in addition to appearing in Community Help.

The feature is rolling out starting today, but it may not be widely available to all for “weeks,” Facebook says. That’s unfortunate, given that many people likely want to run holiday-related Drives within the hub to help get food for holiday meals or toys for families in need, for example.

Facebook notes that all posts in Community Help, including Drives, are reviewed to ensure they don’t violate Facebook’s Community Standards or its Community Help Product Policies. These policies prohibit insensitive and promotional content, spam, inauthentic posts, and posts from users under 18, among other things. If posts are found to be in violation, they’re taken down, the company says.

Drives is one of several efforts around holiday giving that Facebook announced today. The company also says it will match up to $7 million in eligible donations to U.S. nonprofits on GivingTuesday (Dec. 1), and is running its own fundraiser,

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Warm gesture: Londoner collecting winter clothing for suffering Syrians

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Londoner Ferras Hayek wants that winter jacket you still have, but barely use.

Hayek, a firefighter in training, is leading a winter clothing drive in London this month, with all donations being sent later this year to war-torn Syria.

“We are hoping to help some people who are currently having a little rough time and rougher living conditions, especially with the winter coming up,” said Hayek, who is from Syria and still has family there.

More than 12 million Syrians were displaced, both within their Middle Eastern country and abroad, after a brutal civil war erupted nine years ago.

Ferras Hayek loads a donation of clothing into the trunk of his car after stopping at a London home to pick up children’s clothing. The clothing will be shipped to people in Syria, where many have displaced by a long-running civil war.(Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)

While the worst of the conflict, in which more than 500,000 people have died, seems to be in the past, Syria is still very much in need, said Hayek, who’s running the drive with a group of friends.

“People are still displaced and have no work or clothes or nothing to put on the table, so we’re just trying to do something to help, and we decided to go ahead with this campaign.”

The drive runs until Nov. 28.

Hayek is personally picking up donations from household driveways and accepting winter clothes for people of all ages.

He said the response from Londoners has been “overwhelming.”

“My phone seems to be ringing non-stop, which is honestly fantastic,” Hayek said. “My garage is full, but we’re looking to fill up as much as we can.”

To donate, text Hayek at 226-984-7758.

[email protected]

Twitter.com/JuhaatLFPress

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League of Women Voters collecting election signs for alternative energy source

The natural resources committee of the League of Women Voters Orange County is working with Central Florida cities and environmental groups to turn discarded election signs into an alternative energy source.

In partnership with the City of Winter Park, the City of Orlando, Orange County, IDEAS for Us and Eco Strategies Group, the league will collect plastic campaign signs and metal stands Nov. 4-22.

On Nov. 23, the signs will be transported by the City of Orlando to NuCycle Energy in Plant City where they will be transformed into NuCycle’s “Enviro Fuelcubes” which burn cleaner than traditional fossil fuels, according to the company’s website.

From there, the cubes will be used to generate electricity for Cemex, a large cement manufacturer.

“We’ve looked for a way to responsibly dispose of all this plastic for many years,” said Winter Park Commissioner Marty Sullivan in a press release.

Drop-off locations are available in Winter Park and Orlando:

Cady Way Park: 2525 Cady Way in Winter Park

Mead Botanical Garden: 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park

Winter Park Fire Department: 1439 Howell Branch Road in Winter Park

Broadway United Methodist Church: 406 E. Amelia St. in Orlando

First Unitarian Church of Orlando: 1901 E. Robinson St. in Orlando

For more information, contact Kay Hudson, Natural Resources Committee chair of LWVOC, at 407-432-2364 or [email protected]

Find me on Twitter @PConnPie, Instagram @PConnPie or send me an email: [email protected]

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©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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Start Collecting – Vintage Kramer Costume Jewelry

Perhaps less well known than the more abundant Coro, Trifari or Napier costume jewelry, Kramer costume jewelry often used rare or unique stones in their jewelry. First, a brief history: Between 1943 and 1980, Kramer Jewelry Creations was a family run business that produced some of the finest high-end costume jewelry. In the 1950s and '60s, Kramer manufactured Christian Dior designs, so finding a piece of Christian Dior by Kramer is a rare but rewarding treat. The Dior pieces often used good quality clear rhinestones with larger blue or green center stones. Christian Dior designs can command higher prices due to the Dior name, but the Kramer quality and designs are just as wonderful as those without the name.

Unfortunately for the collector, much Kramer jewelry from the '50s and' 60s was unmarked and had only a paper tag attached to identify it. If you do see a signature, it will most likely be "Kramer", "Kramer of NY" or "Kramer of New York. Look for the signature on the clip of an earring, or on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet. Other marks include the rare "Amourelle" from 1963, and "Kramer Sterling" which may or may not date from the WWII years when sterling silver was used in jewelry in place of other metals that were needed for the war effort. its quality, and for the use of vibrantly colored rhinestones with creative settings. Radiant red and orange, striking dark blue, glowing topaz, and elegant black rhinestones, along with plastic decorations, gave Kramer jewelry great variety and style.

For the collector, I think a great place to look for vintage Kramer jewelry is at estate sales. If you haven't tried it, this is a wonderful way to shop for vintage items of any kind. Check your newspaper and Craigslist for weekly listings of estate sales in your area, and sign up for the agent's email mailing list for future sales. Often sales in older neighborhoods will have vintage costume jewelry for sale. Tip: On the last day of the estate sale items may be marked 50% off. The selection is best at the beginning of the sale, of course, but the best prices can be found towards the end.

As with any collectible costume jewelry, it's important to be prepared: Bring a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe with you to check the condition of the piece. If you're buying for your own collection, and not for investment purposes, you may be more flexible with condition flaws. If it's for investment, it must be flawless. Do you like the piece? Will you wear it or display it or just store it away to be admired from time to time? If the piece is signed by the designer that increases its value. Is the original box or tag included? Again, increased value is there.

Whatever your reasons, and just the simple enjoyment of having beautiful vintage jewelry is more than enough, become educated, do research, ask questions, and you'll soon be …

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Collecting Die Cast Model Tanks

For those who are considering investing in collecting die cast military vehicles then model tanks may be just what they are looking for. Die cast model tanks can look great no matter how you choose to display them and represent a large portion of the history of military vehicles. In the United States for example no new tanks are being produced. The older ones are sent in for disassembly and then reassembled using the newest technology. By collecting the models of all the older tanks you are keeping the history of the tank alive.

Die cast models are very easy to care for. A lightly dampened cloth will easily clean any surface dust and will not chance damaging the paint job. For models that have a good deal of decals on them it is better to just wipe them with a lint free cloth. Water may loosen the decals which can then be difficult to properly reattach.

If there are openings in the model itself then you can use canned air. Use short bursts while making sure to hold the can about six inches from the model. If you hold it too close you can damage the model. Sometimes the propellant can be shot from the cans and can cause frost damage to the decals or paint if you happen to turn the can upside down.

Always make sure to hold the can upright. If you are looking for a great way to display your die cast models then an oak or cherry bookcase can make a great display case. It is rather easy to add lights to the cases by drilling holes for the bulbs and using the small decorative bulbs that are typically used for Christmas trees. As long as these are placed in the holes using an adapter that can easily be found at a lighting store you will not run the risk of starting a fire.

You can also add glass to the front of the book case to keep wandering hands from handling your models and damaging them with the oils from their hands. Your hands contain a good deal of natural oils and it is very easy for these oils to be left behind on any surface that you touch. Die cast models are no exception.

Unpainted, these models can tarnish from the oils. Painted models can experience damage to the paint job from the oils over time. The oils can even damage the decals that may be present. By properly taking care of your die cast model tanks you can have a great looking collection that will last a very long time.

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Collecting Model Cars In Person

When it comes to collecting things, most people make the bulk of their purchases online, especially if they are looking for specifics. Why waste time going to a store when you can enter in the exact thing that you want and see where it's available and the price you'd have to pay? It's certainly easier to get the instant gratification of the internet rather than go to a physical location only to be disappointed right?

Well not necessarily. Even expert collectors who are looking for that one item, such as a diecast model car, can get benefits from going into shops and stores. For one thing, you get to expand your collection and walk out with the item on the same day you buy it. There's something about seeing the physical item you want fully available to touch and hold, and just like in the movies, the angel choir sings and the backlight flicks on as you grab it.

Even if you don't find something you want, going to a store can help you expand your collection just by the virtue of looking around. Searching on the internet is so focused, and since you are so focused on this motorbike model, or this one diecast car model, you miss out on something else that you could really want. It's one thing to go to a physical store and see the object of your desire, but it's another to see the object and then have your eye caught by something else. If you've seen ads for model car shops like Car Models of Braidwood, you know the huge variety of models that can easily catch your eye!

Also, if you are a major car model collector, it can be helpful to talk about the model with the owners. They might be able to point you in the direction of similar models, let you know when another object of your collection is on their shelves, or even point you to a collectible that's either cheaper or has more features. If nothing else, you'll be able to share some conversation with staff and other store goers who have the same confidence and love of models that you do.

Plus, it can really be a fun adventure, where you and a few likeminded friends go to a car model store and just spend the day looking around. It makes time fly, brings the group closer, and it's always triumphant when everyone walks out with exactly the type of car they wanted – and maybe even something extra.

While the internet offers convenience and is perhaps a last resort for those who have been able to find a physical representation of the model they want, it pales in comparison to going to a physical shop. If you are a major model car enthusiast, the idea of ​​spending a day at a store that specializes in your passion probably is a great idea! Being surrounded by and able to touch your favorite cars and hold the …

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