Godolphin and Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) jointly announced Thursday the launch of a mobile application for backstretch and farm workers. The app, called Cómo, connects Thoroughbred industry employees to the vital services they need through a network of chaplains and Thoroughbred industry organizations.
Designed by The Jockey Club Information Systems, sponsored by Godolphin, and managed by TCA, Cómo offers the ability for chaplains and industry organizations to be content creators or “contributors” on the app. Contributors can upload information about their services and resources offered, or can provide recommendations for service providers in their local areas. Service provider categories include healthcare, dental services, immigration assistance, religious services, mental health counseling, ESL classes, and much more. There are currently 22 categories in which contributors can provide a resource for industry workers.
“Cómo is the result of extensive industry research, including a survey of farm and backstretch workers, which began when Godolphin took a hard look at the needs of our industry's workers,” said Katie LaMonica, Godolphin USA's Charities Manager. “What we found is that our industry provides vital resources and services through various organizations, but what was crucially missing was the workers' knowledge of and ability to connect to those resources. Cómo exists to bridge that gap, and in doing so be a tool for those critical service providers in our industry. Godolphin is fortunate to have a partner in TCA, who has been diligently developing the app with us and will continue to successfully manage Cómo going forward. Given the depth of the research and the time it has therefore taken to develop this app, we are excited to finally release it to the industry.”
To find resources, industry employees download the Cómo app on their smart phones and follow the contributor closest to them. Users are then able to access the area resources available to them. Users may call, email, or text contributors from within the app. To learn more about how to download and use Cómo please watch this video.
Cómo also offers contributors the ability to create real-time news posts for users. The posts assist in the dissemination of time sensitive information to users on backstretches and farms.
“The Cómo app has allowed for immediate delivery of pertinent information regarding chapel events, activities and programs for the backstretch workers at Emerald Downs,” said Chaplain Gilbert Aguilar. “The app provides an opportunity to address the spiritual needs of our workers with such features as a daily biblical devotional. Additionally, the social needs of the backstretch workers can be facilitated with employment, educational and other resources and referrals to professional service providers.”
“Since the inception of Cómo, Blue Grass Farms Charities has used the application to reach out to the farm and track workers in Central Kentucky when food items are available, health screenings are scheduled, and family programs are implemented like our upcoming Festival of Christmas event,” said Julie Berry executive director of Blue Grass Farms Charities. “We've received a positive response, and it is re-assuring to know that information is being given directly to the horsemen. We are building trust when the Cómo app is used.”
“Cómo is a tool that can connect chaplains and industry nonprofits with the industry personnel they serve,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “Among Cómo's many features, it allows for the transfer of important information quickly. Whether it be weather alerts, notification of a health fair, or, as we saw this year, notice of track closures, Cómo provides a way for our industry's employees to both seek and receive information they may need.”
Soft launched earlier this year, Cómo currently has more than 30 active contributors across 15 states with over 1,600 users. Chaplains or organizations interested in becoming contributors are encouraged to contact TCA at email@example.com. Cómo does not collect data on its users nor does it track users' locations. It is free and available in app stores for iOS and Android devices by searching “Cómo – Resources You Need”.
Godolphin is the global thoroughbred horseracing and breeding operation founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. With its headquarters in Dubai, it is one of the world's largest equine teams, operating in Australia, England, France, Ireland, Japan and the United States. Godolphin is committed to the lifetime care of its horses, including retraining and rehoming. It also works with communities and supports various education programs around the world, key industry awards and trains future equine leaders.
TCA's mission is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them. TCA distributes grants to several categories of Thoroughbred-related nonprofits including rehabilitation, retraining, rehoming and retirement organizations; backstretch and farm employee programs; equine-assisted therapy programs; and research organizations. Since its inception in 1990, TCA has granted over $24 million to more than 200 charities. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).
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