Charity Shop Exchange
07 Apr 2020 - John
A large helping of thank-you to Blake Prouty for giving us insight into his team’s Charity Shop Exchange project. Blake is an unlikely hockey fan who hails from South Dakota, and cheers for the Calgary Flames. This is no place for hockey rivalry, so without further ado here are his thoughts on the project.
Where did your idea come from and what problem are you trying to address?
Our product owner, Kelvin Lockwood, conceptualized the idea in response to the challenges we face as a world now under quarantine. Older or immunocompromised people cannot leave their homes, but are in need of ways to stay engaged. In the UK there are over 10,000 charity shops still accepting donated goods, and a population of 66 million, many of whom are facing extended lockdowns.
Can you describe your project?
Charity Shop Exchange offers a subscription service of books & DVDs. People need new things to read and watch - especially when feeling isolated - and our subscription service facilitates this in an economical way. Subscribers receive a (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) selection of books and DVDs which have been sourced from local charity shops.
How did your team come together?
All of us met through Slack, or Twitter while trying to discover a way we could help out during this crisis. Kelvin had taken the steps to reach out to us individually, add us to a Slack channel so we could discuss the concept, and from there we got right down to it!
Can you tell us about your team?
Kelvin Lockwood hails from Bournemouth, UK
Blake Prouty (that’s me!), am from Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Matt Doyle lives in Sydney Australia
Dicky Jiang is based in Bandung Area, West Java, Indonesia
What skills do they bring?
Kelvin Lockwood - Product Ownership and Product Developer
Blake Prouty (me again!) - Full Stack Web Developer, HTML, CSS, JS, and React/Node
Matt Doyle - Full Stack Web Development: HTML, CSS, JS, and React/PHP/WP
Dicky Jiang - UIX Designer: Photoshop, Photography, Graphic Design, CSS, HTML, and Web Design
How was the experience of working remotely?
Could not have been better. Through the use of Github Projects, Google Documents, and Milanote we were able to work through open issues and tasks. Additionally, being that we were all in different time zones, someone was waking up as soon as the other was going to sleep, so we were nearly making progress around the clock.
How does it feel to be collaborating on a project at a time like this?
A great benefit, we’ve all shared with each other the additional steps we’ve taken to remain social and cope with the challenges we’ve faced. Whether it’s on a zoom-call or just in Slack, the frequent conversation and working towards a goal is therapeutic through and through.
What tools, made available by the hackathon, are you using?
At this time we’ve not had a need for a backend component on our project, but would like to thank FaunaDB for offering their database services to the hackathon, I’ll be sure to use them in an upcoming project!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
We would just like to thank everyone involved in this collaborative event and for allowing us to share what we’ve built!
Blake A. Prouty
For more information on Charity Shop Exchange: