HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The COVID-19 pandemic is putting people in hospitals and unemployment lines, but a growing coalition of non-profits and businesses are looking to help.

More than 170 north Alabama organizations are aligned through CharityTracker, an online network that helps the groups communicate and fill each others needs as they serve the community.

The ELM Foundation provides the network as a free service. Huntsville City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson helps lead the foundation, and said organizational enrollment has shot up by 30 percent since the pandemic began.

In a 2019 video, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle endorsed the network, stating:

“It allows us to check on each other, see what they’re doing, make sure that we don’t have a duplication of services, make sure that we have a most efficient use of our donor dollar,” he said.

Unclaimed Baggage in Scottsboro is among the new additions to the coalition. Brand Ambassador Brenda Cantrell said it will allow the business to continue its charitable work.

“Maybe somebody can post a need, and we can fill that unique request, that’s what’s going to be great about just networking everyone together," she said

Cantrell said the center donates, recycles or throws away up to 50 percent of its stock. That translates to thousands of items.

”We’re the only store in America that buys and resells unclaimed baggage from the airport industry, when you think about what’s in your suitcase (laughs)."

If an organization is interested in joining, reach out to the Elm Foundation.

by Jennie Robinson

Board Secretary & ELM Administrator

“There are two ways to live your life. You can live as if nothing is a miracle. Or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein