A startup that aims to help families, children, veterans and seniors fill basic needs through a charitable text messaging campaign is expanding to Denver.
It's called Purposity.
"Purposity is really this vision to help people find purpose through generosity. That is actually where the name comes from," Jamie Rife, the co-founder of Purposity said. "We're kind of on a mission to help people."
Rife moved to Denver last year. But, she started Purposity while working in Atlanta with students dealing with homelessness and encountering an unexpected problem.
"I had all these people that wanted to help and I had all these students that needed help," Rife said. "But I was getting worn out serving as the conduit between those two."
So she approached a friend, Blake Canterbury, who put together this online campaign that reaches people through text message.
"Text messages people just tend to pay attention to a little bit more," Rife said. "We have found it super effective."
Working with nonprofits like the Denver Public Schools Homeless Education Network, Mercy Housing, Urban Peak The Gathering Place, and the Bill Daniels Center, Rife says stories of need are shared through one text message per week.
"It's really an actionable step that people can take to make a difference," Rife said.
Teachers, social workers and coordinators who work directly with people served by those non-profits submit specific needs to the site.
Sometimes, a teacher may see a young student who doesn't have a winter coat. A senior volunteer may see an elderly person who doesn't have sheets for their bed. A Volunteer of America volunteer may see a homeless family with a newborn baby who has no diapers.
Each need is posted by the organization by someone who works directly with that child, senior, or family and those who receive the text can hit purchase on their phones to be directed to Amazon to fulfill that need within minutes.
"It's very transparent giving. They know who they're giving to and the fact that it is someone local that they can connect with," Rife said.
Purposity in Denver launched on Nov. 13 as the company's ninth city.
When you click on the city, you'll see a list of needs 'met' already.
Denver's community has 238 users as of Wednesday morning, with 47 needs met for local families through various non-profits so far.
Needs met so far in Denver include a winter jacket for a kindergartner of a homeless family (posted by Denver Public Schools), sheets to welcome a family home (posted by Mercy Housing), and baby necessities like wipes and diapers.
To learn more, visit http://www.purposity.com/.
"It's not that people don't want to help," Rife said. "It's that people generally don't know what steps to take to help, especially with local needs."