CRYPTO FOR THE HOMELESS – It’s been 2 years now – Also asking for some suggestions
So almost exactly 2 years ago, I was finishing up pharmacy school and wanted to create a project online involved with crypto since it is something I am very bullish/enthusiastic about. I tried a few different ideas, ultimately settling on what is now crypto for the homeless (www.cryptoforthehomeless.org)
The idea was to deliver food to the homeless while crowdfunding online using crypto. The project itself was inspired because a few years ago, my wife broke her hand leaving us with a huge hospital bill after the surgery was done (uninsured at the time). The generosity of just a handful of people online helped us immensely with the bill (a few hundred dollars for those who are wondering). We were able to pay off the rest and recover financially but I was so grateful for the help. That got me thinking – first off, health care in America is truly horrible (lol), but crowdfunding could be a very powerful tool to reach people that normally wouldn't be able to utilize it. Since I went to school in Philly at the time, I saw a ton of homeless people to and from that location on a daily basis. I thought about it – what if these people could somehow benefit from online money like I did?
I started out with a really basic website (https://cryptohomeless.home.blog/) and received just enough crypto (bitcoin cash to be specific from /r/btc) to buy a couple meals. The next day I went out and bought some food and delivered it to 2 people. I took a couple pictures of the food and one of the homeless people, but I ran into some obstacles on the internet. People were hugely skeptical because they didn't see receipts, and also both homeless people with the meal. I didn't even realize that it would be such an issue, but that was the main catalyst that got me to OVER-document everything. I started documenting exactly what the crypto was worth at the time of donation (based on coinmarketcap). I started taking pictures of all of the food that was bought, the receipts, and the homeless people holding the food AND a printed out flyer with the QR codes from the site. For the most part, this improved things.
Then came the people who started bringing up issues about the organization itself not being an official non-profit as well as skepticism about it being a scam. For a short while, I just kept going out and delivering food/posting pictures and continuing with the donations. I was actively searching for new people to add to the team, as it was pretty tough just doing it all by myself. Almost around the same time (about less than 1 year into the project) I was contacted by a web developer, and a Tax Attorney. They both offered their services for free because they liked what the project was about, and also were into crypto themselves. It was beyond serendipitous. I immediately accepted their help and got registered as a non-profit org AND updated the website to what it is today. Throughout this time, I also provided incentive to various redditors who were interested in volunteering their time to go out and hand out/deliver food – by reimbursing their documented trip with crypto.
Although this project is just something small/for fun, I want to see what else could be done better. Should we do more than just food? Should there be a different incentive to hand out food? Are there any other specialists that I should add to the team that could contribute value?