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

Morning start: Numerous shipwrecks can be found below Kootenay Lake

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Thursday, May 28

West Kootenay jogger barely escapes bruin attack

Man spends two hours up in tree, bear not located

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read