As a few of the many people stuck at home during this global health crisis, we were eager to look for potential ways to help as volunteers. However, of the many of the websites and mobile apps we encountered, we found it difficult to navigate and find opportunities local to us. With HelpNow, we wanted to fix both of these problems.

What it does

  • Organizations can make requests that volunteers can signup for
  • Volunteers and organizations can contact each other through a chat service
  • Volunteers can find local organizations on a map or through a search

How we built it

HelpNow is a website created using HTML/CSS and JavaScript backend to handle user input. Firebase was used to handle and store account, chat, and request data.

Challenges we ran into

A lot of effort was spent performing rigorous testing to identify and fix minor errors, especially those that appeared when the individual features were combined into one website.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are especially proud of our map feature, built using the Google Maps API, which provides a nice user interface for volunteers to find local organizations. We are also proud of our chat service, the first we have built with Firebase on the web.

What's next for HelpNow

We hope to extend the features of HelpNow by making it easier to use for organizations through automated services; for example, adding a system that helps organize and schedule signups for requests. There is also work that can be done to simplify the user interface.

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