TALScouts: A way for students to virtually give back to their community

As schools continue to adopt distance learning, the future of in-person education is still unclear for many students around the country. At the Touch-A-Life Foundation, one of our key pillars is youth engagement in charity and philanthropy—providing students with the opportunity to give back to their local communities while learning important life and business skills.

 

Our new TALScout program is designed to give students internships—entirely virtual—so that they can continue to learn and help out their local community from a distance during these tough times. TALScouts offers two voluntary options to students looking to give back:

TALScout

Designed for high school and college students, TALScout is Touch-A-Life Foundation’s student internship program. TALScouts will volunteer to help build and promote the TALGiving app, learning many skills including UI experience, product design, teamwork, marketing, and leadership. Performed entirely in-home using a laptop or smartphone, the program allows students to earn credit and volunteer hours, and is flexible around students’ schedules.

 

It’s also a great mentoring and networking opportunity. Touch-A-Life works closely with many corporates and executives, and the TALScout program gives students access to these experts to teach them about various business aspects, and potentially set them up for internships at their companies.

TALScout Ambassador

As a TALScout Ambassador, students are tasked with promoting the TALScout program within their school to help recruit TALScouts. It’s a great opportunity to learn marketing skills which are used to help promote their school’s fundraisers and causes via the TALGiving platform. TALScout Ambassadors will build leadership skills and program development experience, with the potential to earn credits and build their resume. 

 

Virtually, TALScout Ambassadors will be encouraged to help spread the world about TALGiving, with the goal of onboarding other students, family, friends, and teachers, so that they can provide (or request) resources such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical assistance.

 

With students spending more time at home this summer, the TALScout program is a great way to keep kids busy and educated, but more importantly, building them to be a better person by helping out their community.

 

To learn more about the TALScout program and sign up, visit https://www.touchalife.org/talscout/

Money can’t solve everything: TALGiving Connects Needs with Good Deeds

Charities around the world have been flooded with donations over the past 6 months in light of the far-reaching COVID-19 crisis. But what happens when you are unable to buy the PPE you need for your volunteers due to widespread supply chain shortages, or if someone is in need of emotional or professional help that seems out-of-reach? The Touch-A-Life Foundation has decided to tackle this problem head-on, by providing organizations, professionals, and everyday people with a network of volunteers ready to help.

The TALGiving app allows charities or individuals to ask for what they need, and matches them with folks around the world, who can respond with a cash donation or tangible goods, services, and deeds – in a transparent way. Every donation is traced and tracked and published publicly – so you’re able to see exactly how your donation is making an impact for your community.

“Our sweet-spot is connecting the local communities together to help raise everyone up,” commented the CEO, and founder of TAL, Tej Gundavelli. “We believe that charity should start close to home because you get to see and experience the impact of your donation first-hand and raise the entire community up together.”

Anyone can share and search on the TAL web site to find vetted requests for volunteers, services, cash, or even goods and find local charities or individuals in their area. This transparent, direct connection is exactly what attracted Bollywood star, Sunitha, to become a TAL ambassador earlier this summer.

“With no middle man or administration—just donor and donee—TALGiving is easing the process of giving while providing full transparency,” said Sunitha. “I look forward to supporting Touch-A-Life’s cause.”

Another of TAL’s rising stars, Garret Jensen, has been heavily involved in the Type 1 Diabetes community after being diagnosed at 13, and now uses TALGiving for organizing teams for the annual JDRF One Walk and volunteering with organizations that serve families impacted by Type 1 Diabetes.

Dr. Aseem Shukla, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has helped nearly 200 children from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Turkmenistan, Iran and more, to receive life-changing surgery for absolutely no charge over the past 10-years, and now in collaboration with TAL hopes to reach hundreds of more children in need.

These are just a few of the amazing TAL members who use the platform as a way to raise awareness and provide a clear impact on a world dramatically changed forever. We’re all in this together, and with TAL, we can be there for each other in meaningful ways.

Announcing TALGiving: Launching to the public

Last year we introduced TALGiving, an app that helps facilities one-to-one connections between donors and recipients, at our TAL Annual Day 2019 fundraising event and banquet. We initially launched the app as a private beta to our local community, the San Jose Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District. Today, I’m proud to announce that after several months of testing and feedback from our amazing community, we’re opening TALGiving up to the public.

What’s TALGiving?

It’s a new mobile app for Android and iOS devices (also supporting desktops) that connects donor with donee, to make the entire donation process simple and easy for both parties. Donors (individuals and corporates alike) can sign up, list the specific resources they’re willing to provide, and track donations to enable full transparency. For the recipient, all they have to do is sign up and fill out their profile, listing which resources they need, and they’ll automatically be matched with a donor when the resources become available. Best of all, there is a 0% fee for all parties involved—the only fees involved come directly from the banks to help facilitate credit card charges in the event of monetary donations. If those donations are made through a direct bank account transfer or check, there are no finance charges.

How does TALGiving work?

Under the hood, we’ve integrated several innovative technologies including blockchain and AI into TALGiving. Blockchain technology provides a decentralized, immutable ledger for all of the transactions conducted through the app, which enables full transparency for all parties to ensure that donations are going to the appropriate causes. Blockchain also makes the transaction data available on all of our apps, so that they can be used from anywhere around the world. We use AI (artificial intelligence) to help facilitate the matchmaking process between donor and donee, based on the profile information filled out by each party. With these two technologies, coupled with mobile and social media, we are hoping to revolutionize the entire donation process by making it 100% digital—no need for messy paperwork and record keeping.

Rather than just accepting monetary donations that platforms like GoFundMe are based on, TALGiving is built to facilitate all type of donations—whether it be clothing, food, medical, monetary, or shelter/housing assistance—making it easy for people in need to receive specific resources, and improving transparency for all involved.

We invite you to download and sign up for the TALGiving apps, to begin your journey of kindness and giving (or receiving), and help us improve the app as we continue to expand globally. Please visit https://www.touchalife.org/ to learn more.