B.C. service aims to connect those in need with volunteers amid COVID-19 crisis

Purposely helps volunteers find people to help

Are you looking to help people in your community during these uncertain times? Perhaps you’re looking for a place to ask for help.

That’s where Purposely comes in.

The B.C.-based online platform pairs those who need help with those who can help them. Co-founder Alex McGowan said originally, Purposely paired volunteers with community organizations in their areas, helping people work on the various issued they cared about in their communities. Launched in 2018, he said they’ve seen people, communities, and organizations successfully work together.

But over the last two days, he said they started to see a large number of people needing help who have been affected by the pandemic in some way, so they repurposed the platform to focus on COVID-19 efforts.

“So what we did is we built some simple tools that allow people to post asks and post offers and find each other,” he said.

“With the pandemic going on and lots of organizations winding down a bit and everything has been put on pause, we went back to our roots and built a tool that will allow people to take action on things they care about.”

Purposely is available throughout Canada and anywhere in the world. Whether you’re looking for help or you’re looking to help, all you need to do is put in your postal code and the platform will give you a list of asks or offers closest to you.

A built-in chat will pop up so individuals can figure out details of what is needed and where to drop off items, among other things.

The repurposed platform launched on March 26, and McGowan said there has been a surge of users already, but he said they want to make sure those who are in need know about the platform.

“So many people want to help and that’s good, but we want to make sure the people who are in need get that help,” he said.

“We’re open to working with food banks, with other non-profits that have a lot of people they serve. Anyone is totally welcome to contact us if they want to collaborate with us.”

In the end, McGowan said they want to see people mobilize and turn the current situation into something positive.

“This is a hugely challenging time for a lot of people. There’s a lot of people in need… it’s a scary time. I think that for us, this is going to be a huge moment for our generation and we want this crisis to show what’s good about people.”

If you are seeking help or want to help, you can visit Purposely online. If you’re part of a community organization looking to help residents, you can you can contact co-founder Alex McGowan.

If you know others who are giving back and helping those in need during this critical time, send us an email and let us know!

READ MORE: Big White chef brings fresh produce to Central Okanagan Food Bank

READ MORE: Kelowna philanthropist hosts contest for healthcare tuition at Okanagan College


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Major paving projects announced

Extends west of Smithers to east of Houston

Hatchery expansion project gets underway

Goal is to get structure to ‘lock up’ stage

With wildfire season approaching, here are some tips to be ‘FireSmart’ this year

Q & A with Lindsay King, FireSmart Educator for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read