What do you get when you combine something most of us do every day — walking — with a love of rescuing animals? You get Bailey Schroeder's brilliant new mobile app, ResQwalk, where all you have to do is take a few steps in order to drive money to your favorite animal rescues.
Here's how it works: You download the ResQwalk (pronounced: rescue walk) app for free. Scroll through a list of nearly 800 personally vetted animal rescues in the United States and Canada and select the organizations that speak to you. It includes everything from A Cat's Tale in Los Angeles to Zen Rabbit Rescue in Portland to Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa and Big On Beagles in Toronto.
Press start, walk at least .1 miles, and press finish when done. It's as simple as that.
Each user's distance is recorded and added to the rescue's weekly sum. At the end of the week donations are paid out to the rescues proportionally to the total distance walked — meaning the more you walk for your favorite rescue, the more money they will receive from the pool (e.g. $2,500). And, as an added bonus for every walk you take, you get a prize coupon such as a $2 Amazon MP3 credit.
"I left the banking industry three years ago to start a company to raise money and awareness for animal rescue and that was ResQthreads, which launched a year and a half ago,” Schroeder's tells Samaritanmag. “We sell apparel with a portion of sales going to the animal rescue of the purchaser's choice.
“This is now part of the ResQwalk items for sale in the ‘Shop’ section of the app," explains the Toronto-born, New York-based entrepreneur, who launched ResQwalk just seven weeks ago and counts cat guru Jackson Galaxy (Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell") as one of the company's fans.
With ResQthreads taking off, Schroeder decided to see what else she could do to help the cause. "I found that animal rescue people are so passionate and want to help, but don't always have the money or time to give as much. So, I thought what if there is a way to give people the opportunity to channel this energy, but that doesn't cost them any money or make them go outside of their daily routine. Anyone who has a dog, walks their dog daily and it also makes sense for fitness conscious people who love animals," says Schroeder, who adopted her black Chow Chow named Charlie from New Yorkers Companion Animals five years ago.
Charlie is featured "talking" in the video for their Indiegogo campaign, which raised $20,000 to fund the donation pools. He's also the mascot on the logo of the company's own Dapper Dog Coffee, which has previously been sponsoring the weekly donation pools.
Along with the Shop section, which sells the coffee and such apparel items as human T-shirts that say "Adopt Don't Shop" and doggie T-shirts that read "Not Listening," the app also features a News section with fun articles about animals, such as "7 Voicemails Only Cats Would Leave You." Schroeder says the app will soon feature a leaderboard to see how walkers' favorite organizations are staking up against others.
ResQwalk, which is currently available for iOS and has 13,000 downloads, will launch on Android in September. "We're currently looking for a corporate sponsor to fund the donation pools, and we're enhancing the user experience for iOS. After Android is out, we'll be looking to include rescues in other countries. It's only been seven weeks and it's just been an overwhelmingly positive response," she adds.Jordan