Get help. Give help.
In time of crisis your first thought will likely be about reaching your friends and family. And if you’re not directly affected by the emergency, you might be wondering how you can help those in need.
In recognition of this, Microsoft has created a mobile application that helps you connect quickly with loved ones during a time of disaster, discover and donate to organizations involved in disaster response work, and find opportunities to volunteer.
The HelpBridge mobile application simplifies the process of notifying loved ones
by simultaneously sending an e-mail and SMS to the communities you select & posting a message
to your Facebook wall as well as a tweet on Twitter. You can even include your location so that message
recipients will know where you are and the circumstances surrounding you. All this with a couple of clicks.
And if you’re looking for ways to help. HelpBridge makes that easy by connecting you
with some of the world’s leading disaster relief organizations and by providing multiple
ways to help: text-to-give donations, larger contributions via PayPal, and goods donations.
If you’d prefer to give your time rather than money, HelpBridge will also show you how you
can volunteer in support of disaster relief efforts near where you live and nationwide.
HelpBridge is powered by Windows Azure and our partners – Aidmatrix, GuideStar,
Mobile Giving Foundation, Network for Good
And it’s available for free on Windows Phone, Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
Key features & technologies
HelpBridge enables you to:
- Create and manage your emergency contact lists.
- Communicate quickly and easily via e-mail, SMS, Facebook and Twitter with those you care about most in times of disaster.
- Donate money or requested goods to the top organizations engaged in disaster relief
- Discover volunteer opportunities for relevant disaster relief efforts.
- Share your location with friends and family.
HelpBridge is a mobile application that connects people with those they care about
most in a time of disaster, facilitates donations to leading disaster relief organizations,
and highlights relevant, local volunteer opportunities. The app is available on
Windows Phone, Android and iOS platforms .
Where can I get HelpBridge?
Does it cost me anything?
The mobile app is free for download and there are no usage fees beyond your phone
operator’s SMS fees and any donations you make.
How does the donations piece work? Do I have to give you my credit card number?
There are three ways to donate via the HelpBridge app:
- Text-to-give: For donations of $5 or $10, we partner with the
Mobile Giving Foundation to provide the listings of non-profits requesting monetary
donation and to manage the payments. When you opt to text-to-give the amount you
donate is sent via text and it’s added directly to your monthly phone bill. We do
not store any credit card or billing information related to your donation.
- PayPal: For larger donations, we partner with
GuideStar and Network for Good
to provide a listing of donation opportunities with some of the world’s leading
disaster relief organizations. The donation amount you select is processed is via
the PayPal service (log-in required) and delivered to the non-profit. We do not
store any credit card or billing information.
- Donate Goods: In times of disaster, there are often specific goods that are needed
that may be specific readily available for donation from companies or individuals
to relief organizations. Thanks to our partnership with Aidmatrix, we are able to provide a listing of relevant needs that you can
sign-up to provide. HelpBridge connects you with the organizations in need to coordinate
delivery of the donation. No financial transactions occur within the application.
Is HelpBridge available worldwide?
At this time, the app is only available in the U.S.
Do I have to provide my GPS location when I send a message?
No. That is completely optional. There is a toggle switch on the message screen
where you can turn on/turn off the location service.
Do I have to post a message on Facebook or Twitter?
No. First, you can sign-in with your Microsoft Account ID and you’ll only be able
to send messages via e-mail or SMS. Or, if you do choose to sign-in with your Facebook
or Twitter credentials, you can turn off the posting to your Facebook wall or
tweeting on Twitter by using the toggle on the message screen.
Can I only use HelpBridge during a disaster?
The primary use of the app is for disaster situations. This does not mean you can’t
use it to donate or communicate during non-emergency situations but we encourage
the responsible use of this mobile application. Using it outside of emergency situations
may dilute the effectiveness of the app when you need it most.
How do I turn off or turn on notifications?
Receiving notifications is completely optional. Within the Settings menu you will find the
screen where you can turn on/turn off each notification.