The United Way of Bucks County launched a new smartphone app Tuesday that will help put local residents in contact with nonprofits and resource organizations.
“We’re working to help people go from helplessness to hopefulness. And the phone app should help with that,” said Jamie Haddon, executive director of the county's United Way.
The app is a digital version of its red and white paper human services directory, which has been published for years. The app will help users get in touch with the groups via phone. Users can even use the app to find out how to help the groups listed, Haddon told Patch.
“One more cool feature is people can find an agency’s distance from them by using the app and the phone’s GPS,” Haddon added.
The conversation event gathered more than 200 people from Bucks County’s business and nonprofit sector.
The large crowds sat at tables and brainstormed ways the groups could work together to help the residents of Bucks County.
At each table sat a “live-tweeter” who broadcast portions of the session on the social media website Twitter using the hashtag #BucksUnited. By the end of the event, #BucksUnited was one of the most popular topics on Twitter, which has over 500 million followers around the globe.
“We need people to rise up and work together and this was a great first step,” Haddon said of the afternoon session which closed with a barbecue.
Previously the director of the Second Alarmers Rescue Squad in Montgomery County, Haddon plans to use social media of all types to grow the United Way’s reach in the county. He hopes to spur more cooperation between groups that will benefit the residents of the county.
Haddon's efforts aren't focused solely on the Internet.
Under his leadership, the United Way recently opened an office in Doylestown that will assist those who need help in the central and upper part of the county. Also, the group's Falls Township office is undergoing a renovation.
Newtown-based Signature Systems, a software/hardware company, designed the mobile app unveiled Tuesday. The app can be downloaded onto Android and iPhones by going to UWBucks.org.