SPRINGFIELD, Mo - The third annual Hack 4 Good was hosted this weekend in Springfield. Around 50 professionals and students were divided into nine teams to create an app that would make a difference.
"Normally, this would take weeks but they have to do it in days," Jason Klein, co-organizer for Hack 4 Good, said. "So they have to be able to knock it out pretty quickly."
Klein says they chose to partner with Borrow My Angel, a local suicide prevention organization.
Chuck Dow, the founder of Borrow My Angel, says he is thankful to have so many teams creating an app for his organization. This topic is near to his heart.
"I lost two different siblings to suicide," Dow said.
Friday night he presented his vision for the app to the teams.
"When someone is feeling depressed, feeling suicidal or in that dark place, they can go onto the app literally press a button that says, 'I need to borrow an angel,'" Dow said. "It'll send a beacon out and we will have an army of volunteers that are trained and ready to be there in that crisis moment."
Elliott Campbell, a student at MSU, was working with a team to create their own concept for this app.
"I got two, one-hour power naps in," Campbell said. "But I think that is from me not wanting to go to sleep."
Campbell says he too has a personal connection to this topic.
"If I would have had these resources when I was younger, I would have come out of a dark place rather earlier," Campbell said.
Sunday afternoon, the teams put their computers down and presented to a panel of judges. The winning team was Added Innovation - Mark Whisler, Austin Cummins, Ryan Williams, David Schlum and Jason Barnes.
Klien says he is glad to connect skilled professionals and students to create an application that will benefit our community.
The app is not ready quite yet. But Klien says it should be available soon.
This event is hosted by Mid-America Technology Alliance and many community sponsors.