Rome City and Floyd County Schools are asking for community members to download Purposity, a phone app that allows users to purchase shoes, backpacks, clothes and other needs for local students anonymously.
Social workers for both school systems, Kristen Thornante and Jackie Trammell, asked everyone attending the Purposity launch Friday morning to take a moment to download the app and set up their accounts. The Rome and Floyd County area has to have 750 active users before the schools can start posting student needs Thornante said.
“The only thing we are asking from community members is to download the app,” Trammell said.
“In a community this size we should have no problem with that,” Jeff Wilson, superintendent for Floyd County Schools said.
Purposity will send a weekly text to users alerting them to new needs in the area. Downloading the app isn’t a pledge to help every week or every month, Thornante said, users can help when they can.
“Purposity pairs people in our community who are willing and able to help,” she said. “We know we have a lot of people in our community who are willing and able, but just don’t know how to.”
Once someone clicks “meet this need” on the app the item will be purchased and sent via Amazon to the school who will then give it to the student. All in the time span of a few days.
“It is great for specific needs,” Trammell said. “It also streamlines the process.”
The two said when the schools receive donations they have to be sorted, stored and eventually distributed. It could take months to get one of those items to a student in the current system. On top of that, sometimes a student needs soccer shoes but the only thing the school has in stock is tennis shoes, Trammell added. This app will meet the needs the social workers and counselors see daily, she said.
Georgia Power also provides funding for any school system in the state of Georgia who wants to start this program, which means it doesn’t cost the school system anything.
The average item cost on Purposity is around $40, but can be less depending on the item.
Users also get to choose which item they want to purchase for the students and can see needs that have already been filled. Purchasing the items through Purposity is also tax deductible, Trammell said.
“One thing we really love most about this is when you are choosing a need you are not going to see if this is a Rome City student or this is a Floyd County student,” Thornante said. “This is one of our kids, it’s for the kids in our community.”
At a meeting with other superintendents in the area, Lou Byars, superintendent for Rome City Schools, asked what the biggest problem with this app has been so far.
“They said the biggest issue they had were people getting mad because they can’t buy fast enough,” he said. “We know our community will do the same thing, we will take advantage of a simple way to help.”
The app is available to be downloaded in the Apple and Android app stores. Once downloaded, users will set up an account using an email and password and choose the Rome City / Floyd County community option to begin seeing local needs once the app goes live.