Introduction Video Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAA8aQ7rCVY&
I remember standing in line at trader joes for over an hour and an elderly woman who couldn’t even stand without shaking was terrified with the idea of waiting. She didn’t have a mask, just a walker. A young person in the front of the line asked her what she needed and shopped for her.
What it does
ShaperHands essentially does the same thing, we have a large group of volunteers that provide free delivery service of groceries and medical supplies to the elderly and immunocompromised.
How we built it
To help scale, we used Squarespace to build the site, used zapier and google sheets to automate the registration, confirmation emails, delivery emails. We also setup the Google sheets to enable each city coordinator to assign a delivery to volunteers closest to the requester.
Challenges we ran into
We had to figure out how to let city managers send emails to volunteers, prevent spamming inboxes. We had to setup guidelines on safe delivery. One of our partners (Homeless health care LA) requires us to work with food banks, we had to train their case/social workers to add additional information in the forms.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Expanded to Seattle, Sacramento, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York City
- Partnership with Lyft (Free rides for volunteers if they need it for deliveries)
- Partnership with NAPCA (National Asian Pacific Center for Aging), we will be helping their constituents in LA county and King County (Washington)
- Featured in ABC 10 (Sacramento) https://www.abc10.com/video/news/health/coronavirus/young-leaders-volunteering-to-deliver-to-community-members-with-a-high-risk-of-getting-coronavirus/103-71e5786d-2806-4a5f-bbd6-4a3265e3c457
- Our requesters being so happy with our deliveries that they donate to non-profits on our behalf or send us kind notes.
** - "What wonderful people. They stayed in contact with me all the time, even calling from the store to check on something! ...I am a diabetic on insulin so I have to eat. So you understand!..They will be in my prayers forever."
** - "Your offer is incredible! I do not even know how to thank you!!! At the same time – I feel guilty because your wonderful volunteers are risking so much while helping me!!"
What we learned
How much legal paperwork is needed to get a partnership setup :D Used feedback from volunteers and city managers to tweak the system, we are on the third iteration at this point.
What's next for ShaperHands
Spread the word, we have a scalable system that works now, we need to figure out how to pay for the costs of using Zapier and the website etc. Ideally, subsidize groceries for individuals that do not have the ability to pay for their groceries. We would also like to provide PPE equipment to our volunteers.