Inspiration

In October of last year I awoke in San Francisco to a distinct feeling of unease. Upon turning on the news I discovered that a wildfire had caused devastion in my home town of Santa Rosa and was still raging. Frantically i tried to contact my family but to no avail. Eventually I was able to reach them, midway through an evacuation that had been ongoing since the middle of the night. Luckily my family were unharmed and largely unaffected by this disaster but I saw first hand how hard it is for people - friends, neighbours - to recover from losing their homes and possessions. I saw how impactful small donations can be to those in need. In the aftermath I took note the vast number of people willing to help out and donate both time and materials to those in need. The Wharton Resilience Challenge gives me the opportunity to create a platform to bring these people together. To connect those in need and those who have something to offer. To improve the support system available to victims of disaster.

What it does

Eleos is an online platform that allows people to donate goods and services directly to those who need it after a natural disaster. It allows users to see the most recent postings of people in need, and for those in need to view recent donations. Users can also filter through these postings to narrow their search. The app has a social atmosphere with donations and requests being published to a live board, this helps to foster a sense of community and good nature.

How I built it

Eleos gave me a chance to also participate in the MongoDB stitch challenge. Thus the backend for this app is mainly running on the Stitch platform, mainly the MongoDB Atlas database and the authentication services. The rest of the app is built as a simple HTML page and hosted on GitHub pages, using a Flask socketio server to communicate most recent posts in real time.

Challenges I ran into

Making Eleos at this Hackathon allowed me to experiment more with back end programming - specifically by participating in the MongoDB Stitch challenge. Thus, the backend for this app is mainly running on the Stitch platform, in particular, the MongoDB Atlas database and the authentication services. The rest of the app is built as a simple HTML page and hosted on GitHub pages, using a Flask socketio server to communicate most recent posts in real time.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Finishing! I find it amazing that I was able to get it done through the exhaustion. And with time to spare! I took on the added challenge of working alone which meant that I had less support from others through the night and that I only had myself to rely on. This also means that I am extremely proud of everything I've created this weekend and can truly say that I put my all into it.

What I learned

Next time I am using an application framework like React or Angular I believe a lot of time could be saved by using components instead of just using JQuery to do everything. A challenge in itself!

What's next for Eleos

Better searching and matching algorithms. Eventually this system will be able to recognise a users location either by GPS or manual input and prioritise nearby matches. I also aim to develop connection between Eleos and existing social media sites because nothing improves altruism like the ability to show your friends. As Eleos is a crowd-sourced project it functions best when it has a high volume of users. I hope to increase usage of this app as it improves.

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