• MyEO Engage


Updated: Apr 21

The novel COVID-19 Virus has become a global concern, that has called for world-class action. EO chapters from all over have started to organize themselves, in every corner of the world. As part of our ongoing MyEO Engage ALL RISE series, we take a look at how all across America, EO chapters are putting providing assistance to directly combat COVID-19, and support those who are facing it, in its many forms.

For this edition, we take a look at the efforts of Magaly Chocano of EO San Antonio and the beauty of the InThisTogether Movement that is now scaling outside of her immediate community.

Taking a community's love, and giving it all back in the time of COVID-19

In EO, we often hear stories about giving back. Many of our entrepreneurs have causes that they rally behind, advocacies that they partner with to make a real impact in their communities. There are also instances when we hear about a community raising one business up, which is exactly what happened in the case of Magaly Chocano and Sweb Development.

On 28 February, Sweb Development's building in San Antonio burned down, razing their headquarters in a few minutes. In the immediate aftermath, within hours of the fire, one local business already offered them a space to get right back to work. As more people found out about the fire, Sweb began to receive a massive outpouring of support from local businesses in the form of meals delivered, snacks & goodies, and fitness studios. This outpouring of kindness carried Sweb through the hardest times, allowing them to be operational the Monday after the fire.

Photo Credit: Scott Ball, Rivard Report

CEO of Sweb Magaly Chocano said in a company blog post that "the depth of (the community's) gifts and love – the depth of your generosity is as deep as the depth of my gratitude...this is the story we must tell people that think San Antonio isn’t a place for them… where else would you get this much love?! Nowhere else!"

That sense of community, coupled with Magaly’s gratitude, is now being repaid tenfold through a COVID-19 specific movement called InThisTogether. The model of the movement is simple, yet effective: sell t-shirts, buy gift cards in bulk from local businesses, distribute these to non-profits and frontliners. This allows people purchasing the shirts to keep businesses afloat, and at the same time give access to key resources to those who need it most.

When lockdown measures were put into place in San Antoinio, Magaly saw the same local businesses that helped Sweb Development get back on their feet either slow down or shutter up. With these COVID-19 prevention protocols in place for the foreseeable future, local restaurants and businesses didn’t know where they would find income to pay their employees, let alone rent and other ancillary expenses. Seeing this new reality lit a fire under Magaly, inspiring her to design their shirt’s logo, and turn to a local t-shirt printer Huarache Turbo to produce them en masse. From there, the InThisTogether movement machine got running. Local businesses in San Antonio are benefiting through InThisTogether efforts, and are also inspired by the efforts. Diletta Gallorini of South Alamo Panini and Gelato got a call from Magaly saying that she needed USD 1,300 to spend on gift cards. “We actually decided to donate 1,500 gift cards,” Gallorini said in an interview a week after efforts ramped up. The number of local restaurants, the smaller ones that need it most, are growing every day with the list growing as this movement grows. On their website, InThisTogether is updating their list of supported organizations and local businesses that are updated here. Magaly and her team, in under 2 weeks of printing and shipping these shirts, have raised well over USD 42,000 for San Antonio businesses. InThisTogether has also expanded their reach to 8 more cities, scaling their efforts outside of the immediate community proper. In the process of organizing all of this, InThisTogether has given local businesses revenue that they likely wouldn't have seen during these strange times. At the same time, the non-profit organizations are finding a lifeline through this initiative. Key institutions like the Children Advocates San Antonio, San Antonio Youth, The Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio, South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, and University Health Care can continue carrying out their work on the front lines, and the most at risk thanks to the donations through InThisTogether.

For those who are looking to stay up to date on the efforts of EO San Antonio, and of InThisTogether, they are constantly updating their social media pages and website with statistics to maintain transparency on their efforts. If you want to stay abreast on their developments, stay tuned to their website at https://inthistogethersa.com/

Is your chapter conducting efforts to help combat this Global Corona Pandemic?

If so, please let the MyEO Engage team know so that we can report to members across the world how your chapter has a beacon of hope. Help us tell your story through https://bit.ly/MyEOEngage_WeRise, or at myeoengage@gmail.com so we can inspire members across the world to share your stories of social impact, especially when the world at large needs hope the most. If you haven’t yet, join MyEO Engage on Facebook and our official EO group for more updates about how we EO-ers are helping out.


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