Organizers: Yoav Kadan, Jeffrey Li, Debanik Purkayastha, Marissa Turkin, Stephen Yoffie
Covaid is a mutual aid platform that connects volunteers nationwide to those in need of support in their communities. Volunteers can offer a variety of services, including grocery delivery, medication pickup, online tutoring, emotional support, and more. Then, others in the area can see all those offers and request help. In addition to facilitating neighbor-to-neighbor volunteer matching around the country, the platform is also used by community leaders in several major U.S. cities for the management of local mutual aid organizations. Covaid empowers community leaders with custom-built features such as request tracking and location-based volunteer matching.
Project: COVID-19 Behind Bars
Organizer: Adryan Corcione
COVID-19 Behind Bars is an independent journalism project tracking jails, prisons, detention centers, and other facilities of incarceration impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The goal of gathering this information is to create an accessible map of impacted facilities—including but not limited to city and county jails, federal and state prisons, and juvenile and immigrant detention centers—as well as start a larger conversation about the lack of transparency available to members of the public, including loved ones of those behind bars, about health and safety plans behind bars.
Project: Digital Skill Workshops for a Digital Art World
Organizer: Bindu Poroori
Like many others, artists have been severely impacted by the coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns. In Chicago, Alderman Matt Martin’s office is creating a mini-series of free, one-hour beginner workshops on how to harness free and easily available technology to level up people’s art-making skills at home. Taught by celebrated queer Chicago artists, the first two workshops planned are an introduction to using digital audio workstations to manipulate recorded and synthetic sound and an introduction to using natural light and at-home equipment to create higher-quality video and video art. These workshops will be available for free to a small group of students, with priority given to queer artists and artists of color who may otherwise not have easy access to personalized instruction. Students will be able to interact one-on-one with their instructors in a Zoom classroom. They will also be able to reach out to them for a week afterwards to receive guidance and feedback as they work on their own projects. The workshops will be recorded and made freely available to the public, along with a resource guide curated by the instructors to help artists further their learning.
Project: Food on the Table D.C.
Organizers: Amber Seyler, Jane Bloom
Food on the Table D.C. is an initiative focused on providing assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to community members in the greater Washington D.C. area, with things like groceries, prescription runs, wellness calls, etc. Any person who is high risk or in quarantine can reach out and ask for a delivery of groceries and/or supplies, regardless of his/her ability to pay. Many people and their family members have lost their source(s) of income during this crisis, and no one in the community should go hungry while this group can provide support. It now has almost three thousand volunteers and has aided thousands of people in need. Leaders Alli McGill (The Table Church) and Amber Seyler are working to foster community and aid during this global crisis.
Organizer: Adele MacLean
Food4Life is part of AtlSurvival, where regular people rally to support their community. It is volunteer-run and has no president, board of directors, or CEO. Just community members stepping up in a time of crisis. They are creating a resilient, empowered, and informed community.
F4L creates food security by delivering boxes of donated groceries during the COVID-19 crisis. Donations come from grocery stores, restaurants, and farms and are organized and delivered by volunteers. It serves anyone who needs help, from those who are self-isolating to those
who can’t receive official aid. F4L volunteers have made hundreds of deliveries.
For more information, please visit the website: https://atlsurvival.org/
Project: Hone Club
Organizers: Diana Hsieh, Wanni Tsai
Hone Club is a community for biztech talent to give help, get help, and learn from each other in order to succeed in their careers. Due to COVID-19, many people in the service industry (i.e. hospitality, education, retail) have lost their jobs, but they have translatable skills that are relevant in tech. Hone Club is positioned to help these people by leveraging the biztech community to offer advice and mentorship. The new volunteer-led initiative provides people impacted by COVID-19 with an action plan, a mentor, and educational resources to help them transition into tech.
Project: One Extra Bag: House Calls
Organizers: Eden Engel-Rebitzer, Lake Walsh, Rebecca Greenblatt, Erik Tan, Erin Hollander, Graham Lobel
One Extra Bag is a volunteer grocery delivery program started by University of Pennsylvania medical students. Initially created to deliver groceries to doctors in residency programs in the UPenn Hospital System, it has since expanded to offer home deliveries for homebound patients living in West Philadelphia. Through partnerships with Penn healthcare providers, vulnerable patients are identified and partnered with a medical student volunteer who does their grocery shopping every week. Additionally, because of an ongoing fundraising campaign, the program can cover the costs of groceries for any participants who are experiencing financial hardship. Through these efforts, One Extra Bag aims to reduce the significant food insecurity faced by many Philadelphians during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as provide a way for homebound adults and their families to access groceries in a safe and socially-distanced way.
Project: The Society of Heart’s Delight (Yuyuanshe)
Organizer: Pat Tietgens
Pat Tietgens and Michelle Zhang established The Society of Heart’s Delight (“Yuyuanshe” in Mandarin) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in order to address the specific needs of the Chinese immigrant community. The group has donated more than 13,000 masks to frontline medical professionals and various organizations. Yuyuanshe maintains a Bay Area focus but also reaches people across the U.S. and in China. The organization live streams fireside talks and is producing a talk show called “Thinking Reeds,” which highlights hot topics within the Chinese immigrant community. Forthcoming programs include a civics series featuring interviews with elected officials, a cultural exchange cooking show called “Cooking With Your Heart’s Delight,” and a monthly video series created in partnership with the San Jose Police Department. With these programs, as well as activities such as food and wine/beer tastings and hiking, Yuyuanshe hopes to foster greater understanding between the Chinese immigrant community and the larger society. Moreover, it strives to create a deeper sense of belonging for Mandarin-speaking professionals.
Organizers: Kasey Luo, Mika Isayama, Monica Kwamboka, Mahad Walusimbi, Jamie Balsillie
Ray is an online platform seeking to democratize access to mental health care services by providing free tele-counseling services to individuals who need it the most. Its founders are especially aiming to provide its services to people most negatively affected by COVID-19, including those from low-income and minority backgrounds. Ray was founded by Kasey Luo and Mika Isayama, two undergraduate students at Stanford University studying CS + Psychology and CS + Product Design, respectively. Founding members include Monica Kwamboka and Mahad Walusimbi, two software developers who each have more than four years of web development experience, as well as Jamie Balsillie, an incoming student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Project: We Have Masks
Organizers: Sophia Nguyen Eng, Victoria Griggs, Becky Blank, Ruthi Nguyen, Jill Campbell
We Have Masks gets masks to those who need them the most. 100% of donations go to purchasing the professional-grade N95 and surgical masks, material supplies for sewing the cloth masks, and filters for the pocket-style cloth masks. The mission is to deliver masks to front-line heroes at no cost to the makers or those receiving the masks. Since WeHaveMasks.org was launched on March 22nd, over 5,000 manufactured masks and hundreds of community-sewn cloth masks have been shipped all over the United States, helping to fill the needs in hospitals in our local Bay Area to ones in New York and New Orleans.