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JCPS utilizes app to meet the needs of students

Johnston County Public Schools has partnered with Purposity, an app connecting users with one-to-one needs in their community.

The partnership aims to fulfill the essential needs of students and families in Johnston County that have fallen on hard times, allowing the community to demonstrate generosity with a purpose.

Britney Gibson, the district’s McKinney Vento and Foster Care Liaison, documented nearly 400 homeless students last school year. This year, due partially to the effects of the pandemic, Gibson has already identified more than 250 students affected by homelessness.

Gibson said items such as blankets, shoes, winter coats, socks, household items, and laundry detergent are items that can be fulfilled for these students and their families through the Purposity app. Amazon partners with Purposity to deliver the purchases to the school system which then distributes them to the families who have been identified as in need.

“We live in an age when we can make a doctor’s appointment right from our phones,” said Purposity Founder Blake Canterbury, “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.”

Gibson said Purposity helps the district bridge that gap locally.

“Purposity is anonymous, organized, and timely,” said Gibson. “This is an easy way for people who want to help students locally do so.”

After users download the app, Purposity sends a weekly notification with any needs in the users identified area.

“With just a few clicks users can satisfy needs ranging from shoes and jackets for a student, to small household items for a family that may have lost their home in a fire,” said Gibson.

The app also features user profiles that track donors’ giving, allowing them to see their impact.

Those who sign up receive an alert with a link to a story of an individual in need and can then choose to meet that need right on their phone. The requested item is in the hands of the organization in just a few days.

“It takes one notification, under a minute, and a few clicks to make a difference for a student whose living environment is unstable,” said Gibson.

To join the movement to support students and families in Johnston County, download the Purposity app from the App Store or Google Play and follow Johnston County Public Schools.