As the nephew of a healthcare professional who gets up everyday and puts herself at risk of COVID-19, not to mention the numerous studies and articles chronicling heightened levels of depression and anxiety felt by healthcare workers, I knew I wanted to make a difference and show support to healthcare workers across the country on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. At first, I wasn't sure how I could help, but realized that even a few words of encouragement could go a long way, after reading an Inc Magazine article that defines positive well-being in a person as happiness, engagement, and meaning. Where "you feel a sense of connection to others around you and your life has meaning to you." I then got to work on handwriting and sending letters to hospitals affected by COVID-19, but realized I could take it a step further by bridging the gap between healthcare workers at those hospitals and others willing to help at home.
What it does
Frontline Strong sources messages of positivity from people at home by allowing them to type on our online platform, which then sends the messages to our partner Scribeless, a handwritten notes company, to write and send to hospitals of the senders choosing!
How I built it
I used Wix to build the website, but I am currently working with a developer in the United Kingdom to work on a more refined version using Webflow. The website uses integration tool Zapier to send the messages to the Scribeless platform which automatically sends the handwritten letters to healthcare workers!
Challenges I ran into
At first, it was hard to reach out to hospitals and individuals who were willing to receive and write letters respectively, but after a couple tries people were ecstatic to help out in any way they could and try and help combat the negative effects of COVID-19.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Frontline Strong has already partnered with a handwritten notes company Scribeless to bolster production as well as received $250 from Venture Philanthropist and NYU Stern Social Entrepreneurship Professor Michael Pollack in funding. I've also met so many incredible people and am having conversations with developers and designers in the UK about pushing this initiative forward!
What I learned
I've learned, and am continuing to learn, so much from this project. I've seen how willing people are to spread messages of positivity and contribute to a good cause, but are more likely to do so if you make it easy for them. Convenience and costs are two factors that drive consumer behavior, and being able to play on those two factors has contributed to the success of the platform. Also, being able to adapt and iterate based on data from users is a massive key to being able to keep improving the platform for the future.
What's next for Frontline Strong
I plan to expand to more schools, online groups, libraries and more groups that are willing to contribute and push this initiative forward by sending it out to their respective networks. I also want to reach out to the media and attempt to promote this project in an effort to garner attention converting to more letters to more hospital. I also hope to garner more donations to fund all the letters going out and keep pushing positivity!
PASSWORD FOR VIMEO IS: GreatGlobalChallenge8