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Mobile app melds 21st century tech, first century Good Friday traditions

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Friday, April 3, 2015

By Tara Terregino

WASHINGTON – Acts of Christian kindness? Now there’s an app for that.

“All In” is a downloadable app that people were urged to use to highlight the good deeds they did on Good Friday, as part of an effort called “Do Good Friday.” Users could post and map their good deeds, adding videos and pictures if they wanted.

Flagstaff resident Hannah Acosta was one of the hundreds who took advantage of the app Friday after stumbling across it on Facebook.

“It’s been amazing to see the turnout that people have been posting about things that they’re doing in their community, like serving food to the homeless or volunteering at the food center,” Acosta said.

As of Friday evening, more than 500 “acts of service” had been posted on the Do Good Friday web site. People using the hashtag #DoGoodFriday on social media described doing everything from working in food banks and pumping gas for an older woman to visiting someone in the hospital and sending money to a friend who had just lost a job.

Acosta said she regularly donates money to a campaign against human trafficking, but was inspired to give again Friday because of the app and the opportunity it offered to spread the word about the cause she cares about. She not only used the All In app, but also posted it to her Instagram account to spread the word about the anti-trafficking campaign.

“Social media nowadays, you can share anything and everything, and why not use it for a greater purpose?” Acosta asked.

Mike Phillips, the Louisiana developer behind the app, said he created it “eight or nine months ago” but saw the opportunity to use it to inspire people on Good Friday.

Phillips said that more than 2,000 churches and non-profit organizations were participating in the “Do Good Friday” initiative. He said he believes that people who used the app did it because they wanted to be “difference makers” in their communities.

A map of good deeds on Friday showed people posting their works everywhere from Australia to Europe – and Flagstaff, Cave Creek and Lake Havasu among other sites in Arizona.

Acosta said it was good the spread the word.

“I’m going to see what I can do through social media and through my personal outlet to bring awareness and to even encourage those who can give a monetary donation,” she said.