Vincenzo Landino speaks on how Can’t Stop Columbus emerged during this time of social distancing for COVID-19. He recalls how the grassroots initiative began from a tweet on Twitter. Someone asked a holding a virtual hack-a-thon to combat COVID-19, and the response was overwhelming… three days later, over 300 people were involved.
Seeing the huge amount of engagement, a Slack account was created to further organize everyone. One week later, Can’t Stop Columbus would find more and more people wanted to get involved with the initiative.
There are multiple pitches, projects, and collaborations happening within Can’t Stop Columbus. Most projects focus on connecting communities to life-sustaining initiatives in Columbus and Ohio. Vincenzo mentioned Columbus Eats, Columbus Helper, and Columbus Day Active to give an idea of the current ongoing projects.
Columbus eats was a particular focal point of Vincenzo’s efforts. After restaurants closed down, he really began questioning how he could form a resource around this situation. Following his gut, he launched a site to become the centralized spot to organize restaurant information. Within the first two weeks, the site had 30,000 unique visitors and 425 self-submitted restaurants.
From there, ideas continue to build upon each other. Vincenzo goes into the story of the server inspired feature being added to Columbus eats, after an idea to extend help to servers came into discussion. Can’t Stop Columbus reached the point where entire committees are dedicated to brainstorming more ideas for community resources. For clarity, Vincenzo explained that the ideas are looked at from different angles to ensure the projects are effective.
Can’t Stop Columbus is innovative, almost fearless, in using strategies to get the word out to communities. Marketing communications create graphics and videos for major social media outlets, like Instagram, for their roll out.
Beyond resources, Can’t Stop Columbus is bringing joy to people. Vincenzo reflected on his amazement towards small acts bringing huge joy. He talked about really considering what brings people together. Then, he discussed knowing to play a person’s strengths to achieve the optimal performance in the initiative.
“…who can motivate people, who is good at design, who can talk to developers, and putting all those people together, and then saying, okay, now that we’ve got all of this diverse understanding of potential solutions, let’s attack problems.”–Vincenzo Landino
We shared the feeling of Columbus being extremely proactive in giving support to one another. Initiatives filled with leadership and camaraderie created this momentum found within Columbus. The natural pull towards finding solutions could be used even after COVID-19 passes. Vincenzo touched on showing people that they can be part of a bigger community effort.
Vincenzo goes into more detail when discussing the ongoing projects happening in Columbus. He lists multiple resources for people to stay updated on news, finding free meals, fitness, mental health, and more. All the resources can be found on the Can’t Stop Columbus official website.
“…coming together for the greater good, coming together as a team is really important.”–Vincenzo Landino