Auto employee laid off amid COVID launches feature-packed app to help workers find local gigs, residents find local help

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“I Need a Hand” app launches pilot in Plymouth, Mich., challenging Uber, Grubhub, others by offering patent-pending location features and commission-free transactions

“It’s all about connecting neighbors. The 'I Need a Hand' app allows you to leverage and count on people in your own community.

Thousands of local residents need help doing odd jobs. Thousands more are out-of-work, available and willing to run errands for small fees. Now, a new app called “I Need a Hand” is available to connect the “do”ers with the “I need it done”ers — without charging a fee or arranging payment between the two parties. The app — which challenges the commission-based models of popular competitors such as Uber or Grubhub — is being formally introduced at 4pm on Friday, July 24, at Kellogg Park in Downtown Plymouth at a ribbon cutting with the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s all about connecting neighbors,” says Michael VanMiddlesworth, who has spent three years developing the app, with co-founder Javier Escamilla. “The app allows you to leverage and count on people in your own community. If you want to dog-sit for those on your block, or if you want to find someone within a quarter-mile of your home to deliver you groceries – this app lets you find and connect with a neighbor who’s right for that service.”

I Need A Hand is the only commission-free app that offers full transparency and tracking while immediately connecting workers and consumers in the gig economy. It’s based on a mission of connecting people, while being technically powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the Lyfts and Doordashes of the world.

I Need A Hand is available in the Apple and Android stores, and at

The I Need A Hand app’s patent-pending locating features lets both service-providers and service-seekers pinpoint and limit exactly where they want to offer and seek a hand. It allows service providers to securely hide their base location by “pinning” it to a local public area, such as a library or police station. It also allows both types of functions — service providing and service seeking – in a single app, which is something competitors don’t do.

VanMiddlesworth, a Plymouth resident, husband and father, had spent decades with Ford Motor Company and large auto suppliers. Amid his management experience, he was impressed by the power of corporate leaders embracing the values of humility. Presently, he is starting a nonprofit called The Humility Club. The club is sponsoring the pilot phase of “I Need A Hand.” Ultimately, the app will be funded through advertising revenue.

“My purpose in life is connecting people,” VanMiddlesworth says. “If someone’s got a problem here, and the solution is over there — I want to put them together. God’s put me on this earth to make those connections.”


The public launch of “I Need a Hand,” a commission-free app that connects local independent service providers with people who seek local services.

Co-founders Michael VanMiddlesworth and Javier Escamilla own I Need A Hand, Inc. The event is hosted by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

4pm Friday, July 24

Kellogg Park, downtown Plymouth, Mich.

The I Need a Hand App introduces patent-pending technology to transparently connect those who need odd jobs done with neighbors who are willing to do them – all without accepting or arranging payment.

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Joe Kohn
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