Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS App Helps Those in Need


Smartphones aren’t just for Instagram and bird-related games. A smartphone app creator in Philadelphia wants to encourage you to use your device for micro-philanthropy to help the needy. And, all it requires is the push of a button.

This week, the app Donafy–a play on the words ‘donate’ and ‘notify’–debuts on iTunes for the Philly area. Created by a tax attorney in the city who wanted to give people an easier way to help the needy and those on the street, Donafy is meant to make doing your part to help as simple as pressing a button.

“The app allows you to donate using micro-philanthropy giving $1, $5 or $10, or if you are walking down the street and see someone who needs help you can push a button and notify an organization that someone needs help,” Nikki Johnson-Huston, creator of the app, told CBS.

The app uses GPS to determine your location and where the nearest centers that give aid to the needy are located. The app will even pull up on your screen and provide information such as address, phone number, email, services available and more. Currently, the app is only preloaded with locations in Philadelphia, but additional locations may be added later.

You can download the app for free on iTunes starting today.

While I love the idea of this app, at the same time I can’t help but feel like it sort of adds a layer of padding between you and the person you want to help. Just push a button and be on your merry way–nothing to think about. On the other hand, I can see this app providing help to more people simply because of the simplicity and anonymity of it. What do you think?

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