An app created by an Edmonton dad is helping connect kids and neighbours to tasks in their community.
Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 can sign up for Heydan as a forum to communicate with neighbours to apply for age-appropriate jobs like shovelling driveways, babysitting or walking a dog.
Heydan screengrab Greg Kusyk/Heydan
Creator Greg Kusyk said he came up with the idea after his son, Josh, began shovelling neighbours’ driveways to earn money for a guitar.
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“What I saw come from that was a relationship with these neighbours. They knew he was doing this so Josh could pay for a guitar, then it was snowboards,” said Kusyk. “It became a relationship, with them supporting Josh and his interests.”
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He began talking with a friend who understood software, discussing an app that would support communities and kids.
“[My friend] grasped onto that right away, so we decided to go ahead and do it,” said Kusyk. “We are just launching now. We’ve been working on the app for the last year and a half.”
Kids can earn money for their own personal goals or for a charity or a sports team, as well.
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“For example, you have a hockey club that wants to use the app. The coach puts the details in the app of the contact person who’s controlling funding and then when the youth go into the app, they select the job they want to do and decide what portion of their earnings go to the sports team.”
Kusyk said the app has received positive feedback so far.
“It’s been overwhelming enthusiasm about the whole idea. I never imagined this,” said Kusyk. “A lot of kids seek out these jobs and do their own advertising. This app provides a forum for them. It’s going to be a useful tool for kids. Then, all the resources are there for you to do it safely.”
Safety is a prominent feature in the app.
“A youth creates their account and they are required to get a code from their parent, which links a parent to that account. Then they can monitor the chat and job history,” said Kusyk. “There’s also confidentiality. The app outlines a radius of one kilometre from that youth, but will not reveal their address or other details.”
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Kusyk also hopes his app will bring communities closer together.
“We want to take kids from a sedentary lifestyle on their smartphones and transition them to getting to know their neighbours, being active in their community and having an opportunity to support charities and sports organizations,” said Kusyk.
Global News Radio spoke to Kusyk on Friday afternoon for an update. He said since the original story was published, Heydan has seen more than 500 new accounts signed up.
Kusyk said the app was trending as high as No. 3 on Google Play in the Social App category in the days that followed.
Heydan is available on Apple and Android devices.