Downriver’s One Stop Shop for Information
By Bethany Newton
Supporting local businesses was the original dream of the Facebook page Downriver and Friends, but now it has grown to encompass 52,531 members who everyday help each other with issues that arise in the community.
“My favorite part about this page is that it is very entertaining. It’s fun,” said Kristin Ann Carpenter, one of the admins for the page. “It’s a great way to meet a lot of new people and be able to interact with them.”
According to Carpenter, the group of eight admins that started the page all realized one day that the Downriver community was in a decline. They wanted to create a spot to support the community but mainly local businesses. While that objective is still being reached, the page has gone on to do much more than what was anticipated.
“[Members] are always helping mothers out with clothes,” said Carpenter. “One time someone needed a vehicle, and we helped them get one.”
Although there are a variety of posts on the page, Carpenter confesses that the majority of posts they see are animal related.
“We have a lot of pet lovers in our group,” laughs Carpenter. “Whether it’s people who are heartbroken that they can’t keep their pets for some reason, or mainly they find pets, and we are the first people they come to.”
Carpenter recalls a few months ago when the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant caught on fire, and she could see it from her back porch. Before even turning on the TV and seeing if it was on the news, Carpenter turned to the Facebook page to get information. Carpenter’s husband was a little reluctant to believe that someone on the page would be faster than the news.
“He’s like ‘Really? Do you really think there’s going to be something about that on [the page]?” Carpenter said.
She was right though. There were multiple people already taking about the incident online. Because of the quickness and usual validity of the group, Carpenter says that people from the News Herald and the Channel 4 and 7 news have become members of the page. It’s how they get some of their stories.
Although a lot of the posts in the group are news related and generally positive, Carpenter mentions that between the eight admins there are certain rules and guidelines that they look at when allowing posts to be published.
“We know what topics start fights,” Carpenter said. “Also, we wanted to make sure that we stuck to what we wanted out of the group and not to get too off topic.”
Carpenter reiterates the fact that it is a community page though. She wants people to be able to speak freely and enjoy themselves, yet at the same time keeping a light and positive atmosphere on the page.
“So many people have been helped through our group it’s not even funny,” Carpenter said. “ We had a Veteran whose furnace went out, and in the middle of the night, a member stepped up and not only fixed the furnace but replaced the whole unit.”
Carpenter says what she really loves about the community and what the Facebook page has shown her is that people in the Downriver community are always willing to help a person in need.