Our inspiration behind this project came from discussing various issues that arose as a result of COVID-19. From job losses, being unable to visit friends and family and people unable to go shopping, everyone had their own struggles. This lead to a lot of initiatives for those struggling such as restaurants giving out free meals, people offering to deliver and go shopping for those at risk and other acts of kindness, however there was no central way to collate them other than just regular social media. This project aims to help everyone affected by COVID, no matter how big or small their issues they are, by connecting people in need with people who want to help.
Our name 'Fountain' is inspired by having someone throw a wish/coin into a fountain, and hoping that it will come true. We hope through Fountain, we are able to provide support for all communities.
What it does
The main purpose of Fountain is that people are able to sign up and post a 'wish' on our website. Wishes can be viewed by the public, and if someone is willing to donate or able to help, then the contact details or funds will go to the person who asked. We've also added the options of 'grants' which is from people also offering their services such as free food or clothing donations, or even their time. This was inspired from a post we saw on Facebook from the University of Melbourne, which had Matt Preston handing out premade meals with SecondBite.
How we built it
Fountain was built with a React front-end, Express/Node backend and MongoDB as our database. It has a few integrations such as auth0 for authentication, and stripe as a payment method.
Challenges we ran into
Building the backend and authentication took much longer than expected. In hindsight we should have started with a feature much easier than authentication as we only had 36 hours, however we can always keep developing on this app even after the Hackathon.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We built something :) (Personally) I also really liked the idea and how it came to fruition. During this COVID period I was often surrounded by a lot of negative news such as the rising death tolls, racist responses and people choosing to use COVID to make a profit rather than helping others. Stories of people helping others were not things I commonly saw on the news, so I like being able to have a platform which promotes supporting others. The original idea came from @bxvd suggestion it to be used to connect with lawyers and those who couldn't afford one, and was later expanded on by our team to include any acts of kindness.
What we learned
Building a website in 36 hours is hard :)