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Founder of SWFL Strong Facebook page shares her inspiration

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone and their connections. And many people have complained about how disconnected they’ve been feeling. But a woman in Lee County decided to find a way to bring people together via social media.

Connie Ramos-Williams created the SWFL Strong Facebook page so that families can come together and share their stories during a time of social distancing. “We unite the community in honor and celebration,” Ramos said.

They celebrate health care heroes, graduates, and more for families and for the community when our normal ways of celebration and discovery have been changed.

“There were so many businesses that were struggling, families that moms were staying at home and caring for their children, teaching their children,” Ramos-Williams said. “So helping parents, families, businesses alike with a platform that had great tips and advice news and information and ways that we could support them in their businesses and family lives.”

The “SWFL Strong” page has also shown people how to access local food giveaways and specifically told people what businesses were still open and able to order from. And that helped those restaurants keep their doors open.

“So, beginning of the pandemic, our business saw a big nose dive, ” said Rusti Clinger, the owner of a Zaxby’s in Lee County. “Being locally owned and operated, that was super scary for us … not only for our families, but we employ over 40 families in our community. Swe were scared about their well being.”

But, thanks to Ramos-Williams’ Facebook page, Clinger’s business began to pick up after on simple post. “From what was posted in SWFL strong and over the next week out of nowhere, our drive-through just wrapped around the building,” Clinger said. “People I didn’t know saying we’re here to support you … It was overwhelming.

Ramos-Williams has said she just wants to continue to uplift her community and share what’s going on, and the people appreciate it.

“Let’s continue to unite our Southwest Florida community together. We are Southwest Florida strong,” Ramos-Williams said.


You can join the public ‘SWFL Strong’ Facebook Group for more updates on what’s happening in the community.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Drew Hill
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