Sometimes you find something so wonderful, you HAVE to share it. So here it is:
Are you in a crisis situation? Do you know someone who is? Someone who is fighting cancer? Suffering from a chronic condition? Recovering from an accident or injury? Someone who’s just had a baby?
Do you want to help, but don’t know what the needs are? Do you want to deliver meals, but don’t know what foods they like (or don’t), what day to cook or when to deliver the meal? Do you want to offer to pick up kids, but don’t know when or where to show up? Do you want to help with cleaning or laundry, but don’t know when your presence in their house would be convenient for the person who needs help? Do you want to shop for groceries, but don’t know what to buy or when to deliver them? Do you want to offer to pick up prescriptions, babysit or take someone to the doctor – but you just don’t know what the exact needs are?
Do you just wish there was an easy way to organize all the volunteers?
That’s where lotsahelpinghands comes in.
Let’s say you have a friend who’s on bed rest due to an injury. We’ll call her Grace. You go to http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com and create an online community for your friend, Grace. You decide to designate yourself as a Coordinator and you recruit others to be Coordinators as well, because many hands make light work. So there’s a Coordinator from Grace’s son’s 3rd grade class and another for her daughter’s 1st grade class. There’s a Coordinator for her Bible study group, and two people have volunteered to be Coordinators from her church. There’s even someone from her husband’s office who wants to serve as a Coordinator. Grace wants to be a Coordinator as well!
After Grace’s online community is created, the names and email addresses of friends and family are entered into LHH and a notification email is sent to each one of them. These “invitees” simply click on a link in the notification email and confirm their email address to become active members in Grace’s community.
Now they can log into Grace’s online community any time they want. They can check out the master calendar and see that meals are needed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They can see that Grace’s kids need to be picked up from school on Wednesday and taken to play rehearsal. They can see that Grace would love to have someone come over and do her laundry on Monday morning. They can see that she needs someone to go to the grocery store on Thursday and they can even see her grocery list! Members sign up for any activity they want!
The really cool part is that all members can see when needs are filled or “taken” and when they are still “open” so there’s no confusion. All members can see who’s signed up for an activity and activities can even be “assigned” by any coordinator. LHH even sends out reminder emails when someone signs up for a task. What if a community member signs up for something and then gets sick? They simply contact any Coordinator and that Coordinator can remove their name from an activity, freeing it up for another volunteer.
If friends and family haven’t been “invited” to join, they can go to http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com and request membership in Grace’s community. Any coordinator can approve membership and send the notification email. Any coordinator can enter the needs, called “activities” onto the calendar.
LHH communities have pages for announcements, well wishes and even a secure blog so Grace can let everyone know how she’s doing! There’s also a “people” page which lists all the members while allowing members to determine their level of privacy.
But the really best part? It’s FREE.
Is this cool or what!?!
UPDATE: I’ve written an ehow article on www.lotsahelpinghands.com Check it out!