A couple of weeks ago, we launched a page on our website dedicated to helping Sandy victims get around. We created RidePost to provide an alternative to more expensive forms of transportation, but, with public transportation temporarily wiped out…whoa! RidePost could be the solution for those that still need to get places. So we waived our fees, and we encouraged people to offer rides at lower prices or for free.
Bloomberg had closed the city bridges to cars carrying less than 3 people, and the airports were still out of commission. The new page was for Sandy-affected individuals to post their rides, and to get places with the help of your peers, despite the terrible state Sandy had left everyone in. Needless to say, we weren’t able to alter the powers that be with this move. While some made a nod to our efforts, it didn’t prompt the mass movement to the P2P marketplace we’d hoped for.
We looked at what was happening afar from the comforts of South Carolina and revisited how else we could help. We made a request for our friends, family, and other members of the community to donate to our Sandy Relief effort. We’d decided that while we didn’t have grand amounts of money to donate to the cause, we could still make the effort to help out the best way we knew how: collect tangible goods and make a roadtrip out of it. We promoted via our networks. Our friends at the Greenville News were kind enough to run this story – and our call was answered. We got emails from around the South Carolina area from individuals and from our biggest donor – SHEEX. And the donations started piling up…
While we were assembling donations, people visiting RidePost.com had noticed our Sandy-affiliated posts. We ended up adding three more passengers to join us on the trip. That’s when it hit: We’re going to need a bigger car. Due to the positive response from the SC community, we suddenly had enough supplies to fill (to the brim) the largest car we could find.
Last Monday, Team RidePost departed from Greenville, South Carolina for Brooklyn, New York, where we’d found a relief organization that was willing and able to accept the donations we’d collected from the SC community. The drop off was made on Tuesday morning, and then the team continued on to Boston for the GAN Founders’ Conference to join the rest of The Iron Yard and several other accelerators from around the world for the next couple of days.
We learned a few things from our trip.
#1: If you want to help, there’s always a way to do it. We may not have all the resources in the world, but we’re a team of able-bodied and -minded folks who – while not on the scale originally intended, were still able to contribute to Sandy relief efforts.
#2: Driving from Greenville to Boston will cost you about $50 in tolls alone – bring enough cash!
#3: RidePost – with some creativity – can engage communities to serve a greater purpose. With this recent effort, we’re pleasantly stunned by the level of participation we experienced from the SC community. It’s a bit infectious. And it’s made us realize there are a lot of good things that can be accomplished with this platform.
So you’ve made it this far…please enjoy our photo essay from the trip: