Our app's background
There are 14.7 million children (about 20%) living in poor families and 6.5 million children (about 9%) living in extremely poor families in the US, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. That’s a mind boggling number of kids that won’t get to feel how a NORMAL childhood is supposed to be like.
At the same time, US toy sales have been hovering around $22 billion for the past three years. That’s a staggering volume of new toys sold last years, toys that parents are usually having a hard time trying to find room for on their shelves and closets as their children grow up.
So we came up with a very simple and basic idea of helping everyone out: build a mobile application that puts families that have toys to share in contact with families that don’t have any other way of bringing Santa in their homes.
Who are we and what is the app about?
We are Tudor and Raul, two young professionals from Boston with backgrounds in non-profit software development and community service start-ups. Together we created commoonal with the goal of helping build a world where every kid has a smile on their face every day of the year, but especially this time of year. The idea behind the app is simple:
- allows app users to list their no longer needed toys
- app users in need of toys can use the app to find toys their fellow neighbors listed
- all there is left to do is for the latter to establish contact and to decide which way to get the toys they decided on
The app offers users the chance to get together to finalize the donation, strengthening the community at the same time, or if users prefer anonymity, they can just ship/request items to be shipped. This is a win-win situation, in a sense that we manage to help members of our community, all along while giving a second life to toys that would otherwise end up either in a landfill, or even worse, in the ocean. What's best about the app is that the users are not limited to only toys, but can actually list any of their items they don't use/want/need anymore, clogging their basements, attics or any other storage space available.
Involve your kids!
We encourage families with children thinking about listing their old toys on our app to enroll their kids in this process as well. They will discover the values of social responsibility and empathy, while realizing they are part of a larger community. We hope that will motivate parents to let their children experience charitable giving first hand. Encouraging kids to donate toys they've outgrown will help them see they can make a real difference in other people's lives, which in turn will give them a powerful boost in self-esteem. Trying to make the concept of giving to others as tangible as possible to children will carry the lesson of charitable giving even further, because when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world. But preadolescent children may have trouble understanding such an abstract concept as donating to a worthy cause, so donating directly to an actual person on our app really solidifies who are they helping, makes tangible connections between donating and the people those donations impact.
Other ways you can help
Help us spread the word! Use this link to share on social media and email: gofundme.com/commoonal. Even if you can't donate now, sharing our link on your social media will definitely help us in the long run. If you are an organization interested in partnering up with us, please let us know. We're interested in any and all partnership that can help us achieve our goal: help your community!
Update for Christmas 2019
Since starting working in this app two years ago, we have raised (emptying our savings accounts, from family, friends and amazing believers in our project) enough money to almost finish the app. We are 95% finished and will be launching very soon. We are attaching some screenshots of what the app looks like. What we are looking for now is raising funds for finishing the app and rolling out the initial phase of marketing. But we can’t do all of this without your support. Together, we can bring some long overdue happiness to these kids. Together, we can help our community, make new friends and be commoonal!
Thank you so much for all of your support! We would not be able to complete this app without it!