Caravanas do Amor, a non-profit based in São Paulo, Brazil, distributes a staggering 21 tons of food, toys and supplies to people in need every year.
"Sometimes people imagine that we have this big structure behind us, organizing everything. In reality, it is just me, my mother, a few friends and a network on WhatsApp," says founder Felipe Cury.
Every Christmas, Mother's Day and Children's Day one big truck and a bus full of volunteers drive up to ten hours to the neighboring state of Minas Gerais to help around 1,500 families.
Each caravan has its own WhatsApp group, Felipe explains, which is the primary means of communication before and during the trip. His teams in São Paulo compile community wish-lists on paper slips attached to individual sacks and photographs of these slips are then sent via WhatsApp to volunteers who source the required items.
Importantly, WhatsApp helps Caravanas do Amor connect with remote communities and people with limited internet connectivity. To reach them, Felipe and his team coordinate with local contacts and organizations who in turn, reach those in need.
Tiago Zanquêta — a volunteer from Minas Gerais — says with WhatsApp, "Delivery is precise and communication seamless, right until the hour the caravan arrives."
Before the next caravan, Felipe's family home will be filled with hundreds of sacks ready to hit the road and he adds, "there will be an infinite number of WhatsApp messages."