Inspiration

College students are busy and sometimes when they have time available, there is no clear place to give back to their communities. Employers are always looking for ways to help in their communities and to encourage employees to volunteer. When the time arises, they would not know where to start. Non-profit organizations frequently suffer from a lack of volunteers. GoMAD is the connector between volunteers and the organizations that comprise communities.

What it does

GoMAD means Go Make A Difference. GoMAD allows for volunteers to sign up to become a volunteer selecting their zip code and preferences (areas of interest where they would like to volunteer). The volunteers then receive a listing of the organizations best matched to their preferences and closest organizations to them.

How we built it

We built the front-end utilizing the JavaScript framework library Vue and the Vue library Vuetify along with the Vue plug-in Vue Router. The back-end was built utilizing node.js, Azure Cognitive Services, and Mongoose DB. The back-end development included Azure Cognitive Services to help aid the matching of the users to their preferences.

Challenges we ran into

Mostly we faced time challenges. We ran into the challenge of finding an API with all the information we wanted to provide as much information as possible to the volunteer. This involved throwing in the Azure Cognitive Services to search for the URL based on the API response. It's wonderful to have super ambitious ideas, but we had to make sure it was as close as possible to implementable. We utilized the Charity Navigator API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are both front-end developers and we approached this project without a lot of back-end development experience. This included working with Azure Cognitive Services. We, of course, are proud of the UI built in Vue.

What we learned

We learned to keep the project in scope. Although all the cool advanced tech is a great way to add to the project, we had to remember to stay focused on basic functionality. We also learned that not all APIs are built the same. Although our idea is workable, we knew we had to keep it small in order to implement it. Data Scraping requires plenty of specifics

What's next for Go MAD - Go Make a Difference

The next iteration for Go MAD will include a listing for the organizations to receive of the volunteers who added their organization as one they are interested in. We also will be looking to provide the volunteers the ability to filter via requirements such as age and clearances. In the future editions, we will additionally provide the ability link to Google Maps and an AI intelligent assistant.

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