Carebuddy: HackHolyoke 2020 Winner

Carebuddy: HackHolyoke 2020 Winner

Mar 4, 2021 07:33 PM
Team Project
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As we know, the pandemic has been tough on a lot of people. According to the International Labour Organization, the coronavirus crisis is having a devastating effect on employment worldwide, with more than one billion workers at risk of a pay cut or losing their jobs. Charities are losing their donors, thus seeing plummeting revenue and disruptions to their services. Some families struggle to meet their basic needs such as food, clothing, and even a mask but are unable to receive help from any sources. More than 4 in 10 households face serious financial problems amid this pandemic. On the other end of the spectrum, we have some potential donors who are either clueless about how and where they can help, or maybe they are shy about the fact that they can only afford little.
We thought, why not make the donation process easier so that one can donate as little as a dollar, any moment they want, within just a few clicks. We all love using apps that make our life easier on a day to day basis, and that's what we did with donations. We made an app with some pre-registered charities. Anyone can enter the app and donate some pre-built care packages (a care-package contains some necessary items specific individuals need daily) or any amount of money they want within seconds.
We have two distinct target audiences: One that needs help and one that is willing to help.

What it does

Our app makes the donation process more manageable by having some pre-researched data and pre-built functionalities.
Donors can register and have a "Donor Profile"; Charities can register and have a "Charity Profile." Donors will have two options: donating money directly and sending pre-built care packages. Charities will have an option in their app to see the list of donations and donors' details.
Our efforts to make the process easier include researching and making a list of care packages donors can choose from. We currently have four care-packages:
  • Corona Help Package
  • Grocery
  • Hygiene
  • Baby Care

How we built it

On the humane side, CareBuddy has been built with lots of care, motivation to help those in need.
On the technical side, we used:
  • Java & Android SDK, to build the app natively for android.
  • Firebase, to store app data in real-time.

Challenges we ran into

Our main challenge was to bring the idea to reality without extensive expertise in android development. But our leading developer was bright enough to build complex functionalities while learning about those simultaneously.
Along the way, we ran into an issue where registered charities weren't receiving any donor information in real-time. At that instant, we discussed and came up with the profiling idea, which seemed too much to do in 24 hours. But again, our main developer, Jahangir, shined at the right time and made it possible.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're very proud of the unique idea we came up with and the team we formed that covered all the corners and responsibilities.
On the technical side, we're proud of building the real-time profiling system and the idea of donating pre-built "Care-Packages" instead of money.
We think making the donation process easier, as we did, would inspire young people to donate more frequently and make it a trend. We are proud of the possibility our solution could have to social causes.

What we learned

Half of our team members worked in a team for the first time. As a result, this hackathon was a big experience for them. Collaborating on responsibilities, making group decisions, all these were part of their learnings.
As a team, we learned that great things can happen within a short timespan if we work as a team and delegate responsibilities. And Hackathons are always a fun and great place to exercise those skills.

What's next for CareBuddy

By no means we can deliver a fully functional app within 24 hours with the idea that involves outside organizations. So we have a lot to do in the future, including:
  1. Getting the info of donation after the user will click the "Donate" button, and then processing that information and adding local e-commerce site integration so that donation packages could be directly purchased and sent to the charity organizations directly after the user clicks "Donate'
  1. Verifying each organization that register to prevent fraudulent organizations
  1. Adding a donation profile of the user.
  1. Adding a timeline of donations of all users so that people can know what organizations are being donated to most.
  1. Adding options for individuals to register for help alongside organizations.