Hear the radio interview: Kaitlyn Wilson, left, and Kirsten Thornante joined us on Hometown Headlines Radio Edition on WRGA 98.7 FM Tuesday to talk about the goals and potential impact of Purposity. The program, a joint venture by Rome City and Floyd County schools, lets the community see some of the needs of area students and their families, and in turn enables viewers to donate needed supplies — all through the app. Announced last Friday, the school systems needed at least 750 people to download the app. They passed that milestone Monday night and are close to 850 users. Each will get a weekly update on local needs and how people can help. The donation, once ordered, is sent to specific school social workers who, in turn, get the items to the right student or family. The app is available from your favorite app supplier.
Media release: Rome City Schools and Floyd County Schools are collaborating on a new initiative for the benefit of all students. Administrators, Board Members and educators from Rome City (RCS) and Floyd County Schools (FCA), community leaders, and interested local agencies met at the Rome Floyd Chamber today to launch Purposity.
RCS and FCS are offering the communities they serve a way to meet those needs with the click of a button or the tap of a screen. Purposity is software both local school systems have adopted that links students who may need specific items to those who can help.
Georgia Power has been kind enough to fund the technological support systems needed to operate Purposity. This made the partnership between the school systems even more attractive since not one cent is taken from the schools’ coffers and there is no extra commitment from taxpayers.
After downloading the app to a mobile device, the school counselors and social workers can enter specific items a student may need and anyone can anonymously donate to the cause of their choice. All items are listed clearly with the item and dollar amount. After selecting the donation, the items will ship directly from Amazon to the school and be distributed to the student from there.
“First, I would like to say how great it is to be able to partner with Rome City Schools,” said Dr. Jeff Wilson, Superintendent for Floyd County Schools. “We always look for opportunities to be able to do so. Even more than enjoying this joint effort, we are thrilled about the opportunity to help children. My goal is to always look for ways to help children, no matter what school they attend. We often get calls from churches and other community organizations that ask how they can help. And some people do not have a thousand dollars to donate for projects, so launching the Purposity app is really going to link us with folks who want to help out however they can.”
For example, if a child needs a pair of shoes, school counselors can contact the system social workers and they will post the need on Purposity. As soon as the donation is paid, the request is closed and replaced with a “need met” tab.
“I am very excited about this collaboration,” said Rome City Schools Superintendent, Louis Byars, “because we have worked together as systems for years. We share this community and it is very important that we do all we can to make sure all Rome and Floyd County’s students can be successful. Both school social workers for our systems, Kirsten Thornante and Jackie Trammell with Floyd County Schools, presented this idea to us after attending a conference. When we learned of the benefits of the program and the outreach we could have by using the service, we were very excited about rolling it out and continuing our efforts in addressing the basic needs of our students.”
After a brief presentation by Thornante and Trammell, attendees were able to ask questions about the app and how it works. Turns out, the process is simple. Those who wish to donate need only to download the app, find Rome and Floyd County Schools in the list of areas and scroll down the donations list.
“All notifications will come out once a week,” said Trammell. “As we receive the donations, we will post them and Purposity will release the list once per week.”
“Our referrals will come in via our counselors who know that their job will be to bring the needs to the attention of the school social workers,” Thornante added. “Our counselors do such a wonderful job and they are, in many cases, the professionals who are on the front line and can recognize these needs.”
Both Thornante and Trammell said that they see children who are lacking basic things like clothing on a daily basis. Having a service like Purposity in place will make a world of difference to those who need help in the Rome and Floyd County communities.
“We see so much in our schools and some of it is heart-breaking,” said Trammell. “With this new way to help, we feel like we can really make a change in the lives of our students.”
“Kids who are mad or sad can’t add,” said Thornante. “If they are coming to school exhausted, hungry, with poor hygiene or with so many other issues we have come across, it is difficult for them to learn. So, we hope that our community will join us in educating our children by helping us to provide for their basic needs.”