SOS Volunteer Now

About the app

SOS Volunteer Now is a web app that matches volunteers with people and organizations who need help in emergency situations.

A web app developed by Stephanie O’Hanley as a project for Les Pitonneux’s LAB12 cohort, it’s currently in development. The idea for this web app came about during last year’s historic, and unnexpected, spring floods. Thousands of people living in and around Montreal experienced the worst spring flooding the area had seen in 40 years.

As floods threatened homes, people and organizations turned to Facebook and other social media sites. Soon, notices appeared for everything from help needed digging ditches or placing sandbags to moving furniture into trucks or making sandwiches for volunteers. There was a caring, but chaotic grassroots response from citizens eager to help out, and plenty of people came forward. But because of the way social media works, social media groups and pages faced a veritable “flood” of posts. Volunteers wanted to help, but were confused about who needed help or where because posts quickly “disappeared” as new posts appeared.

A solution – a new web app

SOS Volunteer Now will make it possible to see at a glance who in your community needs help in an emergency situation and to safely and securely get in touch.

How it works

Sign in to join the SOS Volunteer Now’s app community. Individuals and community members fill out a form describing the type of help and number of volunteers needed and list an expiry date and time for their posting. The most recent community postings appear on the app’s front page.

Volunteers can scan the latest postings on the app’s main page. Or they can go to the Volunteers page to search by city for postings in their home community. Signing up to volunteer is easy. Just click on the Sign Up button on a posting. Once the button is clicked, the individual or organization asking for help gets an email notification so they can reach you.

Plans for the app include a progress bar as a visual to show just how many volunteers are still needed. Having postings “disappear” once the expiry date and time passes is another feature in the works.

Technologies

Built in React JS with Google’s Firebase Realtime Database.