Volunteering With The Community Isn’t Just For Kids Anymore

Volunteering with the community is often associated with students and young people. Kids often have a lot more time to dedicate to volunteer work and are encouraged to volunteer by their schools and extracurricular programs, both to add to their college applications and future resumes and to instill a sense of civic duty. Even adults who are passionate about making a difference in their community can struggle to do so. With other priorities that draw focus, like work and family, it can be difficult for civic-minded adults to find the energy to dedicate to community projects.

That may now be a problem of the past. Play It Forward is creating a fun and competitive way to motivate people of all ages to plug in to their community. Now adults and children alike foster their volunteering spirit by contributing their skills and experiences toward projects that seek to better their community.

A group of Flatiron School students pose proudly in their workspace.

A Gamified Solution to Volunteering

Play It Forward is the brainchild of Flatiron School students who are looking to make volunteering fun and provide a volunteering platform for active citizens. Jennifer Williams, the project leader, would love to get a platform to market where engaged volunteers can track and get rewarded for their contributions back to society. When a new volunteer joins the platform, they will start with the zero points and the basic public rank. As volunteers continue to contribute to local projects, they will earn points and acheive higher ranks that are visible to others in the platform. As the Play It Forward matures, the development team hopes to introduce even more features, such as volunteer-to-project matchmaking and the validation of volunteer hours by  the supported organizations.

By Community Volunteers, For Community Volunteers

During the hackathon, the student-led development team was able to engage a group of volunteers who contributed to many parts of the platform, such as sign-in and authorization, front-end development, and market research work. As the team continues to polish and improve the platform, they are seeking for volunteers who can help make Play It Forward all it can be.  Right now, they are looking for folks who can help them get the platform in the hands of even more volunteers by improving the User Experience! Check out their work on DemocracyLab and get in touch today!