Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we teamed-up in order to address a recurring problem that we see around us: immuno-sensitive individuals are not able to complete simple day-to-day activities that require them to leave their home such as getting groceries.
What it does
Therefore, we decided to create a platform where healthy volunteers can offer to help immuno-sensitive individuals near them complete their activities. For example, if someone cannot leave their house to go to the supermarket, their neighbor can sign-up to get some of the neighbor’s groceries the next time he or she goes to the store. Our platform is meant to allow users to register as either volunteers or immuno-sensitive users. Then, based on their choice they proceed to complete a registration form that asks for general information. After they have completed the form the volunteer can access a list of users — listed as anonymous for privacy purposes — nearby that have requested help. Once the volunteer offers to help someone from the list, they receive an email with the details needed to connect with the immuno-sensitive person and complete the task. If nobody nearby is in need of help, the volunteer will be contacted as soon as a request in their area is made. A person who is immuno-sensitive has a similar user interface experience, with some differences in the registration form. Once a volunteer has offered to help them, they also receive an email.
How I built it
We started off by creating a prototype of our platform that is intuitive for users. We attempted to use React and tinker with back-end material such as making a database and creating necessary connections between front-end and back-end, but due to many challenges decided to present our idea based on our prototype. After our prototype was completed, we attempted to translate this to HTML and CSS. We managed to sign-up for a domain under the name www.allforall.tech. Then, we used Google Cloud Services to host our site on one of Google’s servers. We were also able to embed a Google Maps API on our website which would generate different pins that denote the locations of volunteers around the globe. Ideally, if we had more time we would have liked to link this functionality to a database running on the back-end which would be able to consistently update the tags for immuno-sensitive people as they are helped by volunteers or as more register to request for help. This would have been done using the Google Places API and the services offered by FireBase.
Challenges I ran into
We ran into a lot of issues when trying to actually create the website and embed all the APIs that we wanted to use since this was our first time working on web development. This left us with little time to actually finish implementing the back-end functionalities needed to finish the project.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We had to learn how to use enough HTML and CSS over the past 36 hours to be able to generate a website as best we could. At the end of the day, we were able to transmit our main idea and we all worked together to learn and create as much as possible in very little time. I am proud of all of our effort and what we were able to complete within the given time frame.
What I learned
I personally learned a lot about web development and the usage of servers. I am motivated to continue learning in these areas. I also learned — this being my first Hackathon — that when you are working under pressure on a project such as this one you need to understand your weak spots and your strengths and organize everything so as to make it fit within the time frame and deliver the best possible product. Though we were able to accomplish this to a certain extent, next time I will be more prepared and will try to get more experience on Web Development mainly so as to avoid running into the same problems.
What's next for All For All
Though we were not able to finalize a product, we believe with more resources and time we would be able to complete the project and launch it. We believe this idea is very simple to implement and has great potential. The next steps are finalizing the back-end functionality in order to be able to store data and automate the processes. Once that is finalized we can deploy the project for user testing and go from there! We also believe that this platform has the potential to inspire other people as they develop their own initiatives during the current situation and even afterwards because it offers a place where people within their communities can step-up as leaders. This problem of being locked inside your house has definitely increased because of the pandemic and it is our duty as citizens and neighbors to look after those in need and at risk; especially if they are people with whom we share our communities. However, let us not forget that this is not a problem exclusive to the pandemic! Often there are people near us who have difficulties leaving their houses for many daily-activities such as elderly citizens, single mothers, etc., and we believe ALL FOR ALL could continue to exist — and maybe even evolve — into a digital community of collaboration.