May 31, 2011
So here’s a quandary: what do we do with all these teens and young adults that can’t put down their phones? They’re constantly Facebooking, tweeting, and Angry Birding on their phones, and too busy to notice the real world around them. Well, over on the other side of the pond, British young volunteer service v, and their web initiative vinspired have an ingenious solution to try and get more teens and young adults to volunteer and help out their community, as well as their resumes and curriculum vitae – a smartphone app, which is now available for Android.
This app allows for young Brits to look up volunteering opportunities “with nearly 1000 charities and community organisations.” It is possible for users to look up the closest opportunities to them based on their postcode or to locate by way of GPS, so they don’t have to go very far to volunteer. Each opportunity has a list of details, times, and even photographs. As well, there are even opportunities for users to do good things from the comfort of their own homes, like helping to prevent cyberbullying (which is apparently just as much a hot button issue overseas as it is here; we’re not so different after all!)
The app also logs completed opportunites so users can keep track of them for use on their resumes, and frequent volunteers can even apply for awards through v. The Android app has also been reviewed with one of my favorite Android Market user reviews I’ve ever read, as “Hannah” describes vinspired’s Android app as “A proper androidy android app that looks lush and works like it should.” I’ve never thought of describing an app as ‘lush’, but that’s why I’m not British. In all seriousness, though, making it easier for young people to find these opportunities through the technology that they already use is a good thing; other organizations could take a cue from what vinspired is trying to do. The vinspired app is now available for free from the Android Market.