Social interest groups connecting six parish area, SWLA Connected

Social interest groups connecting six parish area, SWLA Connected
Peggy Woodson made fliers to pass out at doctors' office and blood donation centers to reach out to other hemochromatosis patients.
Woodson created social groups on SWLA Connected to give support and information to those with hemochromatosis and Parkinson's disease.
Woodson created social groups on SWLA Connected to give support and information to those with hemochromatosis and Parkinson's disease.
SWLA Connected is a site and app just for residents of Southwest Louisiana. It's designed to help create stronger communities.
SWLA Connected is a site and app just for residents of Southwest Louisiana. It's designed to help create stronger communities.

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The social media site and app SWLA Connected allows Southwest Louisiana residents to stay up-to-date with their communities and neighborhoods.

Lake Charles resident Peggy Woodson is taking advantage of all the resources the site has to offer.

Woodson created a neighborhood watch group on SWLA Connected after some petty crime plagued her neighborhood. Her home was burglarized in 2014. 

"You feel like you've been violated," Woodson said. "So, the first thing I did was get mad, and then I decided to get busy."

She started using the website for more than just a neighborhood watch.

With help from the Lake Charles Police Department, she organized neighborhood watch meetings. Creating the neighborhood watch group on SWLA Connected was just one more tool she could use to help minimize petty crime in her area and stay connected with her neighbors. 

After her home was broken into, her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and shortly after that he was diagnosed with hemochromatosis, or iron overload, which is a blood disease where too much iron builds up in the body.

"So many people develop a disease, and they don't know anyone else who has it, and they think they're totally alone," she said.

"We don't know anyone in Lake Charles who has [hemochromatosis], but I know they have other people here who have it, because his doctor treats them."

Woodson created social groups on SWLA Connected for both Parkinson's disease and hemochromatosis to offer support and information to others who may have the same diseases as her husband.

"This is my effort to bring those people together," she said.

She created fliers and business cards advertising for the groups she created and brings them to doctors' offices and blood donation centers. Woodson hopes this will help others who suffer from those diseases, and it will get more people of Southwest Louisiana to sign up on the site and app to stay connected and create stronger communities.

If you're interested in joining the SWLA Connected community, head over to www.swlaconnected.com and sign up. It's free to join and free to use. The site will ask for personal information to verify you as a resident of Southwest Louisiana. Your personal information will remain private. 

SWLA Connected is also on the app store for your smartphone! It's free to download and you can sign-up on it too.

SWLA Connected is a website and app just for residents of Southwest Louisiana. Stay up-to-date on what's going on in your hyperlocal areas throughout the six parish region, create private virtual neighborhood watch groups with your neighbors, join social interest groups and stay connected with local organizations. 

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