When we saw that the theme for this hackathon was surrounding winter, we immediately thought about everyone’s favourite and least favourite part of the season: gift-giving. A couple different aspects came to mind that we wanted to improve:

1) Groups love doing gift-giving events like secret snowflake (santa) or white elephant but if you don’t know your partner that well, selecting a gift for the event can be incredibly stressful. With this system, you can check people’s lists and order gifts anonymously, getting them a gift without them knowing who it’s from.

2) When sending a list to family members, sometimes you end up getting the same gift from multiple people. We want to save you from being given 50 pairs of socks when you only needed 1!

3) It can be stressful, worrying that you may be the only one not receiving a gift. For this reason, we wanted to notify the person who makes a list when an item is selected (without them needing to know which one or who got it) to reassure everyone that they’re loved.

Don’t Gift Up is the culmination of a solution to these three aspects along with extra functionality that makes it even more adaptable and accessible to other usages.

What it does

Don’t Gift Up is a site that has two main functionalities:

Creating Lists: Users can create a list by inputting their name and phone number. Then, they can add gifts to their list through an easy to use pop-up, inputting information such as the name of the gift, where it can be found (a link or a store location), and an estimate of the price. The ID code associated with the link is texted to the phone number attached to the list.

Claiming Items Off Lists: By sending the link with the ID code to someone, it allows them access to claim the gifts off of the list. This then removes the gift so nobody else purchases the same item.

In addition to being used by friends and family, our site can be used for more charitable uses. One such example would be a food bank being able to list exactly what kinds of items they need and ensure that they get a variety of donations instead of everyone purchasing the same kinds. This way, users of the food bank would be able to consume a well-rounded diet. Another example of a usage for this site might be a teacher listing items they would like for their classroom to enrich the education of their students. By anonymizing purchases, families with more means can purchase items for the classroom without shaming families who are unable to spend the same amount of money. This will then benefit all students by them being able to have these items without ostracizing any of them.

How we built it

Using various technologies, our team set up the Don’t Gift Up site. For the backend, we used python and flask to manage different API endpoints and a No-MySQL database. To build the front-end, we used Javascript, bootstrap, and HTML5 to create the UI. In order to make our website accessible to everyone, we used the accessWidget by accessible. Another technology we learnt to use was Twilio to send out an SMS when a user creates a new wish list as well as when a gift was claimed.

Tech Stack

Client: Javascript, Bootstrap, HTML5

Server: Python, Flask, Deta

Challenges we ran into

One challenge that we really did not expect was the challenge we faced when attempting to register our domain. It took one of our teammates an hour of attempting to claim the domain (including over 30 minutes on the phone with customer service) receiving errors before we were then told our domain would be locked for 24 hours. Thankfully, due to perseverance and the courage to advocate to customer service, we were able to claim and access it (hopefully without having locked up to three credit cards but that remains to be seen).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We’re proud of being able to integrate all the pieces we used together to form one cohesive product. Between the efficiency of Twilio, the accessibility technology, and the site itself, everything came together in a way that we could have only imagined.

What we learned

We learned about various accessibility technologies as well as how to apply them to our project because everyone deserves presents, especially those who must combat barriers throughout the rest of their lives.

What's next for Don't Gift Up

We hope to directly incorporate charity donations into the site because what better gift is there than the gift of helping others. While right now, you could include Charity Donation as a gift name and including a donate link for the link/location, we think it would be better to have a separate option for charity.

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