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KCS using platform that allows people to directly support students

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS – Kannapolis City Schools is using a new tool aimed at supporting local students in need

It could be anything from a student seeking help with school supplies to their family needing support after something as devastating as losing their home to a fire, KCS Superintendent Chip Buckwell said.

The platform is called Purposity and it works like this: Local school districts and nonprofits identify the needs, then the platform’s app sends notifications to nearby people who can help.

The app works with a number of major companies like Intel and teams up with such organizations as Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Atlanta Public Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools are already using the app.

KCS Student Services Director Jessica Grant said the district’s own Purposity profile launched in February after about a month of gathering the number of followers the company requires to make it public and start identifying needs.

If you follow KCS on the app, you can tap on a need and purchase it for the beneficiary through Amazon.

Needs are posted by the district’s three social workers to make sure they are verified and appropriate. Grant said Purposity is intentional about making sure the needs go through the correct channels. Those who get donations remain anonymous.

Grant said she first heard about the platform last year at a homeless education training, and it sounded too good to be true because it is such a simple way for people to help out.

“The most difficult part is just downloading the app,” Grant said, adding that part is not difficult either.

So far the district has met 59 needs for a total of $2,500 with the app.

Grant said using the platform has no cost for the district, and it helps fill specific needs throughout the year outside of annual food drives and efforts to get winter coats for students.

One student needed work boots for an internship last school year, another needed bedding. One family needed help furnishing a new home.

Grant said the district tries to keep the cost of such needs below $100.

There are other ways to support the district directly. KCS partners with a number of faith-based groups that hold drives and collect donations. The district always needs uniforms for students, as well as coats, socks and shoes.

Most of the schools also have food pantries for those in need. Grant said the district is using far less paper products since more devices are involved. But school supplies are still in need.

Grant said anyone interested in helping the district can contact her at the central office, and she can help point them in the right direction.

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