DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In a small loft office in Deep Ellum in Dallas Charlton Roberts has been busy.
He’s part of team helping those battered by Super Storm Sandy.
The victims may be more than a thousand miles away, but the developers have found a way to tap in and help out.
“I was in Mississippi during Katrina,” says Roberts Needmapper.com Developer. “It’s a really personal thing for me to help people that are affected by this kind of thing because I know the pain it can bring.”
Roberts goes to Southern Methodist Univeristy and got a call on Saturday asking if he wanted to “code for a good cause.”
The website allows people to text in their needs, their address and their name. Then their needs will upload onto the site.
“Then volunteers can go on our site and see where people need stuff and what they need and they can connect with them,” explains Roberts.
From diapers to clothes to food, the need has been great. Once it’s fulfilled, Roberts says, “They can text “done” and it takes down the need, so people aren’t funneling all their efforts to the same people.”
Jennifer Turliuk came up with the idea after she realized how many friends in the East Coast were in need of help.
“Most people were posting needs but there wasn’t any sort of follow up. So a lot of other people would see these needs like ‘I need clothes’ and be like ‘Hey, do you still need clothes’,” says Turliuk. “I also heard stories of people showing up with food and clothes to sites that already had everything they needed.”
The team started working on the concept on Saturday and by Sunday launched the website.
Needmapper is a free service and has already gotten the attention of FEMA.
The developers hope to fine tune their concept so agencies can quickly launch the site in the future.
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