My Supply List

Leveraging technology to match needs with excess resources in communities.

Photo of Aria Lakhmani
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Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Education
  • Environment

Date You Started Your Project Started

6/14/19

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

A lack of resources is not always an issue of scarcity; it’s a matter of logistics. There is a huge need for necessities among certain community members while others may enjoy an excess that they want to donate. Matching resources with needs is not easy. Donors may not get the chance to connect directly with those in need and provide the specific resources that are needed. The lack of connection between donors and those in need is an urgent issue

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

My Supply List provides an easy to use technological solution to harness untapped community resources. It connects those who have an excess of a resource to those who need it to make the process of giving back to the community more efficient. Organizations, shelters, and even classrooms can sign up on the app and create a resource wish list, which is then accessed by community members who have excess to donate. My Supply List makes the donation process simple and customized to the community needs to prevent wastage of donated items.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

In 3rd grade, I noticed that some of my friends did not have supplies to start off the school year. I started off by sharing my school supplies with my friends. I eventually realized that I could make a bigger difference by getting other classmates to contribute too. This inspired me to start Pencils for Pals, an organization that collected used school supplies and donated it to Title 1 schools. I’ve held Pencil for Pals drive annually and provided hundreds of students with the supplies they need. This year, I created an app called My Supply List, which allows teachers to request supplies so that the students in their classrooms are equipped for success. Community members with excess supplies can sign up to donate. Although I built this app with the idea of school supplies in mind, it can be used to alleviate the need for everyday necessities for local shelters.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When teachers sign up through My Supply List, they can create a profile and a wish list. This way, they can identify the specific supplies and the quantity that they need (for e.g. 20 highlighters). This list is customized to the exact supplies that their classroom needs. When donors open the app, they can use the search tool to find local teachers, classrooms, or schools that need supply donations. Donors with an abundance of a particular supply (for e.g. organizations with extra pens to donate) can search for classrooms in need of that particular supply item. The donor can then select the supply list that they wish to fulfill -they can fulfill it partially or in whole. Donors also have the ability to message the teacher to coordinate delivery of the supplies. The teacher in turn will get a notification, and the app will display the quantity of the supply that is being fulfilled.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

“My Supply List” is an app that leverages technology to match needs and excess resources in communities. It provides the following unique benefits: Currently, donors have to go through organizations to reach those in need. This process is inefficient as the donated items may not exactly match the needs at time. This app will allow donors to connect directly with those in need. Many shelters have an overabundance of certain items that may be easy to fulfill but are not as necessary. With ‘My supply list’, donors can fulfill requested supplies directly to those who need it.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

So far, I have impacted several hundred students in Fremont, California through the Pencil for Pals program by providing them with school supplies at the beginning of every school year. My work with Pencils for Pals has also been recognized by my school district, Fremont Unified School District (FUSD). My app, ‘My Supply List’ is currently being used by several teachers in FUSD to request classroom supplies and manage the donation process.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

My app can be leveraged not just to match classroom demand and supply, but for any community needs. Organizations such as homeless navigation centers, food pantries, and shelters can make and publish their ‘wish list’ on an easy to use technical solution. This list can be viewed by donors such as grocery stores, super markets, community members who can then fulfill it with extras that they have. “My Supply List” will be a solution that leverages technology to make a positive change in lives of people. It also has a positive impact on environment as community members can donate used/excess supplies to fulfill needs. I hope to ignite change by providing an easy to use technological solution to match needs and resources in my community.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Marketing Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Other

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

3 comments

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Photo of Julia
Team

This is a super interesting idea. How do you hope to publicize it longterm?
I've never seen anything like this before and I hope that it continues to grow!

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