It all started when Elizabeth Andrews sent out a tweet on February 18, offering to find free lodging for students coming to the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. The mom didn’t think much of it - she only had 28 followers on Twitter - but within hours she already had hundreds of requests for a place to stay as well as offers from locals to open their homes to marchers.
Andrews enlisted the help of her long-time friend Deanna Troust, a strategic communications expert, to create March for Our Lives Lodging. They formed a network of 11 moms, many of whom had never met in person before, but wanted to eliminate any barriers to students attending the march, like being too young to get a hotel room or not being able to afford one. They worked together to find lodging for 500 marchers with more than 1,600 people who volunteered to host them.
They had a screening process for everyone and a long and detailed process to match guests and hosts, and even spent time calling guests and reassuring parents of underage marchers traveling alone. Andrews says people offered to help in so many ways, including making dinner for host families, and driving marchers to or from the airport or bus station. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she explains. “It restores your faith in humanity.”