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

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Crisis Line calls increase

Calls directly related to pandemic up 25 per cent over final two weeks of March

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Most Read