San Jose pediatrician creates app to make charitable giving easier

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Thursday, August 31, 2023
SJ pediatrician creates app to make charitable giving easier
A Sutter Health pediatrician created an app that helps families give back to both friends and nonprofits.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The pandemic was a time for many to explore things outside of their normal careers.

One Sutter Health pediatrician took that time to create an app that helps families give back to both friends and nonprofits.

As a father and pediatrician, Dr. Navneet Singh has devoted his life to providing care to children.

"One of the things that I've noticed in my own pediatric practice over the years is that I've been seeing, unfortunately, more and more youth that have been having issues with anxiety and depression," he said. "Especially as we went through the pandemic."

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It led the San Jose-based, Dr. Singh to do some research, looking to see what makes people happy. An answer he found was gratitude.

"It actually has been shown to help things like reducing your blood pressure, making you feel less stressed," Dr. Singh said, "The amazing thing is that when you express gratitude, not only are you helping your own physical and mental health, you're helping the physical and mental health of the person that you give the gratitude to."

That research was the catalyst that led the doctor to create an app called Gratis, beginning the process three years ago and enlisting help of computer programmers.

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"The purpose of the app is to be able to express gratitude towards others for acts of kindness," Singh said.

The process is simple. You open the app, pick a charity of choice and donate in the name of someone you'd like to express gratitude toward.

"For example, when we're stuck at work, and our kid needs to get picked up from school, and we just can't get there in time," the doctor said, describing a potential scenario. "So we call up a neighbor, or we call up a family friend to go and pick them up. I think it would be so powerful to be able to donate to a charity on behalf of that person to thank them for going above and beyond."

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From there, the person who is being thanked gets a text message letting them know of the donation made in their name.

A donation focused on the charity chosen.

"This is a nonprofit, 501c3 app, and it's 100% pass through where the charity gets all the money," Singh said, "I don't get any of the money from this app. So I'm just doing it to spread goodness."

The app is available to be downloaded right now. Find out more at its website.

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