No type of organization seems as well suited to put the “service” in “group SMS service” than churches. One church in particular is using the platform to continue its mission of service and charity in their local community. With an assist from the web and social media, the ambition is to expand their reach with as few resources as possible.
Northwood Church in Fort Worth, Texas, has launched a new “Freedom City” campaign that connects people in need with charity-minded members of the congregation, all using mass text messaging, powered by TextMarks. The campaign hopes to improve response time and strengthen local ties while preserving the dignity and anonymity of all involved.
Testimonials left on the Freedom City Fort Worth Facebook page contain accounts of families struggling with bills, individuals facing eviction, the ill in need of medical care, and other truly desperate situations. Their effusive praise of the campaign confirms an outpouring of support, sometimes hours within sending a message. Some who have benefitted from the service have even decided to pay it forward, joining Freedom City to receive new alerts.
People who join Freedom City can start receiving text alerts along with a contact E-mail to begin their response if possible. From there, project coordinators will discuss the alert with Freedom City members and the party in need. The results are often swift and and sometimes overwhelming. Given the success of the Freedom City campaign, it’s not a stretch to imagine similar SMS-based church initiatives in a community near you.