When we first started Good Use, we were trying to figure out how to make it easier for people to give objects they no longer needed to other people or organizations who could put those objects to good use. We thought that by increasing direct giving we could create positive effects for everyone—the giver would feel good about how their object was being utilized, the person or organization receiving the object would get something they could really use, and along the way we could help reduce consumption, cut down on wastefulness and hopefully create a community that would bring us all a little closer together.
Now that we’re ready to launch the project, the world looks a little different. What once seemed like idealistic notions about sharing resources, helping our neighbors and coming together to overcome common obstacles now feel like necessities in the face of a global pandemic. The fact is, nobody is just a “giver” or a “receiver” anymore—we all need help right now, in one form or another, and we most certainly all have some form of help to give. It can feel overwhelming to figure out how to be of good use in these challenging times, and it can be difficult to know how to most effectively ask for help. Which is why, now more than ever, we need simple, accessible tools that make giving and receiving as easy and efficient as possible.
So that’s what we want Good Use to be—a tool that connects people who have things or talents they can give with individuals and organizations that can put those gifts to good use, recognizing that we all are both givers and receivers. We’re trying to build a community where we gather together to figure out how we can best help each other in specific and direct ways, and if you’re so inclined, we’d love to have you join us.
On a high level, here’s how it all works: When you sign up for the service, you can list specific items you want to give, and our app will then do it’s best to match you with individuals or organizations in your community who can put those things to good use. That match could be a neighbor down the street, a charitable organization, a local after school program, or a stranger who happens to have a need for your item. You can then decide on the best fit for you and easily arrange to give that person or organization the item you have to offer. You can also give or receive time or expertise through the app--help a neighbor run errands, volunteer to mow someone’s lawn or conduct simple household chores, for example. This can be a one-off transaction, or it can serve to create a connection between the two of you that continues down the road. That part is entirely up to you.
At the same time that you’re signing up for the service and listing the things you have to give, we also encourage you to describe the kinds of objects that *you* might be able to put to good use—create a wish list, if you will. This will allow you to connect to others in the community who might have just the thing you’ve been needing. You can also easily express your gratitude by letting the giver know just how much their item meant to you and even keep them updated on how you’re using it if you so desire. Bit by bit we can all work together to create a community of givers and receivers who help each other directly in many ways.
You’re joining us at the very beginning of our journey, and your experience and feedback will be critical to helping Good Use become…whatever it is we’re supposed to become. If you find our service useful, hopefully you’ll want to share it with other people and help widen the circle of giving and receiving. Working together, we can all find ways to help each other be of good use.