Metro Nashville Public Schools has started using a new program called Purposity to connect private donors with students experiencing homelessness.
Purposity allows school districts to post needs online for families who don't have a home or who are working to set up their home. Purposity will send alerts to people who choose to be donors once a week.
Then, donors chose which items they'd like to purchase for the families in need.
"Things like air mattresses, silverware, bath towels; those are things our education grants don't cover," said HERO Program Director Catherine Knowles. "But through Purposity, someone can click buy now on their phone, and it's shipped here."
Purposity partners with Amazon to ship items to Knowles' office at the Metro Nashville Public School District Office. From there, she delivers those items to students wherever they're staying.
"It protects their dignity and anonymity," Knowles said. "I'm the only one who sees who these students are. It's not being delivered at school and being sent home on a bus. It's just that extra personal touch."
In just six weeks, Purposity has helped MNPS meet 175 needs. But with 2,600 students experiencing homelessness so far this school year, they're hopeful more donors will sign up.