We wanted to have a better way for individuals to directly connect and donate goods to each other without needing to go through the donation process with a donation center.
What it does
The platform will allow users to create an account to both request and give donations. It works by letting users choose to either make a request or donation for a specific category (e.g. food, school supplies, household supplies, etc.) with specific filters (e.g. non-perishable, less than a year old, a certain weight, etc.) if needed. Then, they can search for either donations or requests that can match their needs from other nearby users (by using a geolocation API). This way, people can connect directly with others in their community and see what happens to their donations.
How we built it
We used React on the frontend for a component driven architecture and used React Bootstrap to style everything. On the backend, we used Node, Express, and PostgreSQL with Sequelize as our ORM. We used Git for source control and plan on using Heroku to host our application in the future.
Challenges we ran into
The customizability of postings can be immense so we need to make sure that all the functionality can properly reflect that without making the process too tedious for the user. The geolocation integration, search functionality, and authentication would require extensive logic beyond what we could accomplish in the span of the hackathon so we will have to address those at a later time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The base mockup of our application looks good and seems simple enough to use. We want to make sure that this platform is easy to use for everyone.
What we learned
Having a fullstack application can be challenging without excellent planning and communication. We definitely want to improve how the frontend and backend could be developed in parallel.
What's next for Helping Hands
Achieving full desired functionality by perfectly integrating the frontend and backend. Integrating searching and geolocation filtering. Integrating public APIs for local non-profit organizations and donation centers so that we could have a centralized platform for most things donation-related.