Watch a Hero ‘Hijack’ Amazon Prime for Good

Delivering items of need to the homeless in an hour

December 13, 2017 9:00 am

While we use it everyday, we struggle with Amazon’s place in the world — is it bad for small business? Is Alexa spying on us? Do we really want people to enter our vacant homes for deliveries?

Here’s a reminder that Amazon can sometimes be a tool for change.

Rob Bliss, he of the viral marketing agency behind the Homeless Veteran Timelapse Transformation video that you all shared and cried over four years ago, recently released a video that puts Amazon’s Prime Now program to good use.  

Bliss approached homeless people in New York and asked them what they needed — and then, using Prime Now, was able to get those basic items (socks, long johns, shoes, backpacks, etc.) delivered within one to two hours.

Noting that there’s been a 40 percent increase in homelessness, Bliss asks if we could “repurpose the same apps that are used to deliver ice cream and iPhone chargers” into something that could, say, deliver socks to people living on the streets. (He’s also careful to note that this video is not affiliated with Amazon, and that a similar service like Postmates could work just as well.)

Although the recipients didn’t have a home address, Bliss was able to use the “delivery instructions” part of the order form to instruct messengers on where to go.

It’s a nice story. And a reminder on the positive use of technology and social media.

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