(TN First Lady Maria Lee press release) Tennessee first lady Maria Lee announced Wednesday that her Tennessee Serves initiative has partnered with tech nonprofit, Purposity, to streamline how Tennesseans can serve individuals, families and students in need. With the free Purposity app, Tennesseans can now see the needs of neighbors in real time and can choose to meet those needs directly from their phone. After a need is met, most items will arrive on the recipient’s doorstep in 24-48 hours.
“Purposity empowers Tennesseans to meet the tangible needs of neighbors without leaving home,” said Lee. “Our state has endured tremendous hardships this year at the hands of natural disasters and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s a need in your own backyard or in another county, Purposity is one way to know exactly what a neighbor needs and how to help.”
Purposity was formed on the principle that individuals find purpose through generosity. The mobile app works with established nonprofits and school districts to connect the critical, physical needs of people with a vast community of users who want to help. The needs of Tennesseans on Purposity range from basic hygiene items such as deodorant for a homeless student to cookware for a single mother to new bedding for a Nashville family affected by the March tornados.
“Purposity is built on the idea that if you knew a neighbor was in need, you’d help,” said Purposity founder and CEO Blake Canterbury. “People want to do good in their communities – they just typically don’t know where to start. Now, Tennesseans have a place to turn to help their neighbors in need.”
Tennessee Serves will introduce new challenges on Purposity to encourage users to meet different community needs. The first challenge is focused on meeting the needs of Tennessee students and families. In collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Education, 34 school districts and Family Resource Centers are live on Purposity with more than 450 student needs ready to be met by fellow Tennesseans. Family Resource Centers are school-based hubs in Tennessee to help meet critical needs of the communities they serve.
“The Department of Education is thrilled to join first lady Maria Lee and engage Tennessee’s education communities through Purposity,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We know this unprecedented year has put additional stress on many families, and this is one way we can all pitch in and help connect our students and families with critical resources.”
Prior to partnering with Tennessee Serves, Purposity has been used by Bradley County Schools, Cleveland City Schools, Hamilton County Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools where it has helped more than 2,800 students and families.
Tennesseans interested in helping their neighbors through Purposity are encouraged to download the Purposity app, join the Tennessee Serves team on the app, and from there they will see a list of needs ready to be fulfilled. Nonprofits and school districts interested in using Purposity to help those they serve can sign up on Purposity’s website.