During times of disaster, and in their chaotic and often tragic aftermaths, we always need more ways to easily connect organizations on the ground with the volunteer help they really need.
This morning in conjunction with VolunteerMatch, Microsoft launched a new mobile application to assist organizations that focus on helping communities prepare and respond to disasters. Helpbridge, which is available on Windows Phone, Android and the iOS platforms, is a disaster response app that helps people get help and give help during a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake.
HelpBridge is designed to help users:
- Volunteer: HelpBridge matches users with volunteer opportunities nearby (using the VolunteerMatch APIs), so anyone can contribute time and energy to supporting those most in need after a disaster.
- Connect: HelpBridge can send an email or SMS message to preselected groups of people and post a message to Facebook. Users have the option to share their GPS coordinates so that message recipients will know where they are and the circumstances surrounding them.
- Donate: HelpBridge makes donating easy by connecting users with some of the world’s leading disaster relief organizations and by providing multiple ways to help: text-to-give donations, larger contributions via PayPal, and goods donations (via partners Aidmatrix, GuideStar, Network for Good, Mobile Giving Foundation).
One of the things that makes the Helpbridge app so exciting and unique is its use of the VolunteerMatch APIs to hook into the VolunteerMatch network. This makes disaster-related volunteer listings that your organization posts on VolunteerMatch even more visible to anyone looking for a way to help out. Plus, the added mobile element means that even when people are on the go, they will be able to search and connect with your organization.
So be sure to post and update your organization’s disaster response and relief volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch, so that the people who want to help will be able to find you when it really matters.