Triangle residents use social media to help those stranded by attacks in France

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — People are trying to help in the Paris tragedy through social media.

Some people are using the hashtag “#StrandedInUS” – with people right here in the Triangle offering up a place to stay for those who could not fly home because of the attacks.

“I was sitting helplessly on my couch wondering if there’s a way I could help,” said Justin Bryant

Bryant turned to social media as he watched the tragic events in Paris unfold.

“It became more disturbing as the night went on and honestly, a gesture of help was therapeutic for me,” he said.

Bryant, a soccer coach at North Carolina State University, tweeted urging people trying to get to France stuck at airports due to delays or cancellations to use the hashtag “#StrandedInUS.”

He welcomed anyone in that position at Raleigh-Durham International Airport to message him.

“I thought with these people, it was more than a case of inconvenience, they were dealing with a national tragedy,” Bryant said.

“I could have housed 10 or 15 people without too much difficulty,” he said, noting that so far, no one needed to take him up on the offer.

“I think 15, 20 years ago there really might not be anything anybody could do, even in terms of making a gesture of help, but one of the neat things about social media is you can reach out that way and let people know you’re available if they need you,” Bryant said.

But – they are strangers.

One local person who also offered a place to stay using the hashtag told WNCN that it’s dangerous.

That person recommends video calling or meeting in a public space before welcoming strangers into your home.

“I think the better nature, the better side of human nature comes out in situations like this, so that might be a little trusting on my part, but I felt like it would be an offer taken up in good faith,” Bryant said.

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