December 11, 2013

Teach A Man to Fish. ~ Kristina Peterson

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Since the late summer, I’ve been following the story of Leo Grand and Patrick McConlogue. Leo has been homeless since 2011. He once worked for Met Life but was priced out of his New York City apartment when rents skyrocketed and he lost his job. Patrick is a programmer who offered Leo a choice in August 2013.  “Take $100 right now. Or learn how to code and write an app for Android and iOS Phones.”

Leo opted to learn to code. Patrick taught Leo how to program using some used books and a refurbished Chromebook. They met every weekday outdoors where Leo sleeps. 

His App is brilliant. It’s been a secret up until today and when I found out what it was, I literally hollered for joy.

“The goal is less cars on the road. Bringing communities together and saving the world.”

It’s called “Trees for Cars” and it connects drivers with riders so they can form car pools. As a driver, simply pick a meeting address and the app will suggest nearby riders. Then, each rider and driver are only connected if they choose to mutually accept the invitations. The app tracks how much CO2 was saved by the passengers who got rides with others. The app is not only a way to save energy, it’s a way to connect to others in your community.

Currently it is only applicable to the New York City area, but I downloaded it anyway because Leo and Patrick deserve my 99 cents. I want to support their efforts to show the world that teaching a man to fish is possible. And I want them to develop the App for major cities all over, especially my congested town of Atlanta, Georgia.

All of the money the developers receive from this app goes to Leo, who will use it to help him further his programming education.

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Assistant Editor: Kristina Peterson/Editor: Bryonie Wise

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