A new app in Columbia County schools encourages generosity in times of tragedy

Published: Mar. 31, 2019 at 5:45 PM EDT
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Sunday, March 31, 2019

News 12 @ 11

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's a heartbreaking story we hear all too often.

"This family was at the school when the house fire started," Belinda Lee-Scott, a Columbia County school social worker said. "They got a phone call from a neighbor stating that their house was on fire."

A family is left empty-handed to pick up the pieces and start from scratch.

"By the time they got there they had lost totally everything," Lee-Scott said.

It's also a sight Mohra Hill-Smith sees daily on the job as a homeless liaison for the school district.

"We have many families who are in need in the community and then crises happen," Mohra Hill-Smith said.

But in a community where people step up in times of tragedy, Mohra says something's been missing.

"There's such a pervasive spirit of giving in Columbia County and the community wants to help," Hill-Smith said.

That's where a new app comes in: Purposity.

All you have to do is log on to the app and register. The needs listed in Columbia County will pop up with a description of why they need that item.

Click meet this need and the item will be ordered through Amazon Prime and delivered to the school in two days. The school social workers will then notify the family their item has arrived. The family and doners are all anonymous through the process.

"There's a toddler in the home and these are the shoes that she received," Lee-Scott said.

It's the result of generosity.

"These are a pair of pants that came in for one of the students," Lee-Scott said. "There are three high-schoolers in the household."

It's not just geared towards tragedy, but lifting those up who are down.

"I had a family of 5. A single mother with 4 sons," Tawana Bruce, a Columbia County school social worker said. "She had been homeless going from hotel to hotel. I went on Purposity and asked for a donation of a microwave. Before I could even hit that button, that need was met."

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