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May 31, 2012

Atlantic BT’s Mobile Expertise To Touch Countless Lives

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I”m feeling very energized (and admittedly a little frazzled) after conducting mobile strategy sessions with half of our 12 mobile grant contest semi-finalists over the last week.    Hopefully they are all busy making amateur videos the public will begin voting on in just a couple short weeks!

Amazing causes, vibrant & dedicated people, it makes my heart sing when I’m fortunate enough to engage with humans who give so much of themselves to others who need it.
It’s easy for people to turn a blind eye or complain about how wrong and bad our world is.
These people do something about changing what is to what they want it to be.

Mobile technology and marketing offers countless ways to better lives.  Jon and our leadership here know this.  It was a prime motivator to launching our “Gives Back” Mobile Grant Contest.   I’d like to highlight a couple of our semi-finalists, share the ideas behind how they might use our coveted $25,000 in mobile marketing and mobile technology grant:

Project Renewal .  This NYC human service agency provides mental and physical health resources to community providers, as well as direct services, to the homeless and at-risk of New York City.  On any given night over 40,000 men, women and children are sheltered.  No permanent home.  Many of these individuals have mental health and addiction issues that, if helped, can become productive, happy citizens in our society, with homes and jobs.  This is Project Renewal’s mission.

Project Renewal’s mobile medical clinics provide direct services where they are needed most, at the shelters, soup kitchens and on the street.  Through an innovative and engaging service delivery model, their four vans provide primary healthcare to nearly 3,000 homeless New Yorkers annually.  The program also includes what’s called a scan van, offering free mobile mammograms for women over 40 without health insurance – many even with jobs do not have.   Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer among at risk populations remains a big issue in our Country.

So how could Atlantic BT’s 25K Mobile Grant be used to help?

Project Renewal’s MobileMed program would focus exclusively on these mobile medical clinics. A mobile site focused on van schedules and locations would enable community providers to connect homeless New Yorkers to critical and potentially life-saving medical services, including mammograms and HIV testing. Using MobileMed, users would enter their zip code to access the nearest location and time of a medical van visit.  Not only would this be utilized by providers who partner with Project Renewal, but many New Yorkers who lack health insurance but own smartphones as their sole source of Internet could find and utilize such services they didn’t otherwise know existed.  Everyone has a right to lead happy productive lives.  If funded, MobileMed would help more people do just that.

Mobile Grant could bring Cancer Support Services to North Carolina’s Poor Communities. 

Cornucopia Cancer Support Center is a Durham, NC based organization whose mission since 1995 has been to offer a place where anyone touched by cancer can find support and resources to Live Life to the FULLEST™.
People drop in for yoga, a support group, maybe even a wig or to check out a book from their extensive resource library- all FREE of charge.  But looking at long term growth, leadership realizes they have some challenges.  Fortunately, North Carolina’s Curtis Media Group has been instrumental at helping launch a new program That Cancer Show, whereby those affected by cancer can call in and ask questions from guests on the show.  Topics may include well known research doctors or patients who share their journey of finding resources to help maintain their quality of life.

The show itself reaches the entire state of North Carolina and can be heard in another 13 states.
The show is recorded and MP3’s are available on Cornucopia’s website.  Since starting the program in April, site traffic specifically to the show’s landing page has gone through the roof.   But in order for this program to really take off and help more people who are touched by various types of cancers in less affluent and resource-rich communities, technology has to be enhanced and mobilized.

That’s where Atlantic BT’s Mobile Grant comes in.  Using the grant, Cornucopia would build out “That Cancer Show” to it’s own identity, landing page and mobile site.   The mobile optimized site would enable people to download recorded cancer shows onto their own devices by making them available as iTunes or similar podcasts.  The project would also include creating a clear strategy to help increase listener-ship and awareness of the educational program in more poor areas of North Carolina where few resources exist like they do here in the Triangle.  Cornucopia could develop and offer program sponsorships to continue funding the program once the grant funds were depleted.

The  needs of someone struggling through a cancer diagnosis goes well beyond what family and friends can provide.  Spiritual and emotional cancer support and services are important yet challenging to find in under-served communities.  Imagine the potential number of lives enhanced whereby people wouldn’t feel so alone?
Elevating the reach of this show via mobile technology and awareness campaigns would be a game-changer for Cornucopia.

Do you have a favorite cause that mobile might help like the potential seen with Cornucopia & Project Renewal?
Please share here or on Twitter.

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