IGNITE Office Space Contestant, SOS App - WorkLodge

IGNITE Office Space Contestant, SOS App

Official 2019 IGNITE Office Space Contestant, James Kennedy with SOS App

Year Established: 2019

Outreach Type: Community Support

Give a brief history of your nonprofit’s story. Please include how and why it was established, and who has been involved.

The history started with a lucid morning in which I, James, woke up to a bedside note with a name on it. It was a way for neighbors to support neighbors and foster a stronger community. The initial idea, and name was SOS. The idea on paper was Single mOther Support, but as I thought deeper and shared with others it grew to why not military spouses, why not the elderly, why not anyone who is in need of support, but cannot afford it right now?

I have not worked for a nonprofit prior, but have had interaction with many and initially, my first thought was ‘I cannot do this’ and my wife wholeheartedly agreed. Then, while out to lunch with a friend he mentioned his wife, Onalyce, has been working with a nonprofit for a few years now and that she had just said she missed the startup phase and that he would speak with her about it. That night he text me and said she wanted to help.

On a call business meeting the idea came up in conversation and he said you need to speak with my buddy Mike down in Austin. He has a nonprofit and builds apps for businesses. I spoke with Mike over the phone one day in July after a meeting at a Starbucks in Addison, and he wanted to help as well. While walking through the Starbucks I noticed a younger gentleman on his laptop, black screen and colored text he was obviously a developer. I struck up a conversation and he mentioned he was a full stack developer and was currently going to UTD graduating in December. At this point I went for it, “strange question, but how do you feel about nonprofits?” He thought for a moment, taken a bit off guard, and said he had worked for a nonprofit in the past and they look good on the resume. We shared contacts and caught up about a week later to go over the idea. He text me back about a week later in early August and said he was ‘in.’

At this point, so was I. I not had a team of willing participants and everyone who heard about the idea was for it. Including some local business, but more about that below.

What outreach or services does your nonprofit offer?

SOS is a distress call for help, not a regular supporting cast. Our goal is not to take away from local businesses, but rather a way for a neighbor to support a neighbor out of the goodness of their heart.

What is your ultimate goal for your nonprofit?

Hand to hand support. People helping people in their own neighborhoods and building a stronger community all around them.

– James Kennedy, Executive Director of SOS App