What Can We Do?
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, early last week the team here at We Write Code assembled in a virtual meeting to brainstorm. We asked ourselves, how can we extend our services in order to help? What can we do? We eventually came to the conclusion that we didn’t have the answers to these questions. We then decided to reach out to people in our network who might help us better identify ways that our company could be of service.
Among these organizations, The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines put us in contact with the United Way of Central Iowa. After learning who we were and all that we had to offer, we were introduced to the team managing 2-1-1 for the Des Moines area. By working closely with the team at 2-1-1, they helped us understand the issues that had come up in their organization as a result of the current health crisis. We were then able to define a set of features to focus our efforts.
“Every day thousands of people across North America turn to 211 for information and support—whether financial, domestic, health or disaster-related. 211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
2-1-1 Was Facing A Challenge
In the past, phone calls and emails were used to collect non-profit service and program updates. Due to an influx of changes and urgency in recent weeks, the team at the United Way needed a way to collect this information and distribute it more quickly.
In an effort to consolidate the flood of change requests that 2-1-1 and the United Way have been receiving since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, we built a simple web based platform with two primary features. One provides an opportunity for Central Iowa nonprofits to share the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is creating operating and programming challenges. The other feature, 211 Updates, provides an opportunity for nonprofits to share service and programming updates to 2-1-1 staff.
“To streamline information gathering during this time of community challenge, the Disaster Recovery Coordination Team has developed this website to collect information from Central Iowa nonprofit organizations.”
We Write Code was able to pull together requirements from the 2-1-1 and United Way teams, execute on the buildout, test, and deploy an updated platform in a matter of days. Many of the WWC team members put personal time into this project that is sure to help 2-1-1 better support those in need in our community, and for that, we are all greatly appreciative.
2-1-1: Connecting. Informing. Empowering.
If you are an individual in Iowa or Nebraska area who is in need of referrals or resources for basic need programs: Find Resources Here
If you are an organization in Polk, Dallas, or Story county with any 2-1-1 updates OR if you would like to submit any COVID-19 related challenges: Central Iowa COVID-19 Pandemic Nonprofit Portal