The Beaufort County School District is inaugurating a partnership with Purposity, a mobile app that allows users to identify community members in need and make donations to help them.
“It’s a way to connect local people who need help with people who want to offer that help,” said Lakinsha Swinton, the school district’s Director of Student Services. “We have many people in Beaufort County who want to help those in need, but they don’t have reliable information about verifiable needs. This app bridges that gap and makes that connection.”
Purposity founder Blake Canterbury said the app is all about providing useful information
“We live in an age when we can make a doctor’s appointment right from our phone,” Canterbury said. “But we have no way of knowing if the family down the street has food on its table or if their children have shoes on their feet. Our belief is that if you knew your neighbor needed help, you’d help.”
Purposity’s name is a mash-up of “purpose” and “generosity.”
In Beaufort County, the app will work with school social workers and parent liaisons who know families who need specific things. Social workers and parent liaisons will forward those needs to the school district’s Office of Student Services, which will review the needs and transmit them to Purposity.
Purposity will take the list of items and put it into a database to be sent out to people who want to help. Once potential donors have downloaded the app and signed up, Purposity will send out a weekly notification with links to items on Amazon.com that specific community members need. Donors can then select a need and click “Meet the Need” to pay for the item, which will be sent directly to the appropriate school for distribution.
The process was created specifically to make sure the people receiving the items have been vetted, and donors can have a connection to the people they’re helping.