Already Found is the first volunteer search platform on the market. Finding volunteer work in your community isn’t a hassle anymore, just use Already Found!
In the province of Ontario, all high school students are required to complete 40 hours of volunteer work to receive their high school diploma. With the pandemic and students being on an e-learning model, it has become increasing hard for students to find volunteer opportunities. As a result, despite searching for long hours for volunteer opportunities around their local areas, many students have been unable to find opportunities that interest them and allow them to complete their hours. That’s why Already Found was born, to help high school students find meaningful volunteer work so they can give back to their communities and receive the required hours they need to graduate. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a rise of virtual volunteer opportunities but due to poor marketing and outreach, not many students are aware of them. Therefore, we decided to create a platform to help organizations get better reach to students while also allowing for students to have a centralized platform they can use to find volunteer work.
What it does 💻
Already Found is a CRUD web application. It serves as a centralized platform for both volunteer program organizers and students looking to find volunteer positions. For volunteer program organizers, they can simply add volunteer postings to the platform with a brief description, name of position, organization, and total hours of commitment. As for students, they can see a full list of volunteer postings both in their local area and virtually. Students can then reach out to the person who posted the volunteer opportunity and both parties can work out amongst themselves on the next steps of the volunteer application process.
How we built it 👩🏽💻
The web application was build using the MERN stack. We used React to create the front-end of the application. This was done by creating various components that was re-used throughout the entirety of the front-end. For the backend we set-up an Express server and was used to define API endpoints for our website. We used Redux to get posts across all the components so it could be access throughout the website. Lastly, we used a MongoDB database to store the volunteer postings so they could be displayed on the frontend.
Challenges we ran into 👀
Most of our team’s previous experience had been in more backend-based development. Therefore, we found it a bit challenging to create the frontend and make it look fancy and professional. However, we were able to use effectively use React documentation and Figma prototyping to create the front-end.
Accomplishments that we're proud of 🏆
We are still relatively new to programming, so we are proud that we were able to create a simple yet useful website with CRUD functionality.
What we learned 💪🏼
We learned how to use a NOSQL database (MongoDB) and its benefits as it allows for more dynamic data storing. As well, we were able to better understand how to connect a front end and backend to make a full stack web application.
What's next for Already Found! 👣
We would like to make our UI more professional and more visually appealing. As well, we would like to complete the search functionality. Furthermore, we would like to add user profiles so that users can make accounts and interact with other users as well. Lastly, we would like to implement a portal within the platform that will allow students to upload their resumes and cover letter’s for the volunteer coordinator to see and use to decide on who to hire as the volunteer.