Work & Co Built a Tool to Help NYC Healthcare Workers With Some Basic Needs

Help Supply assists with groceries, childcare, mental heath services

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, agencies and brands have struggled with how to respond. But there has been obvious, clear consensus around one thing—that doing something concrete to help is much more valuable than just talking about the crisis.

Work & Co is doing its part in that regard by building a new tool called Help Supply, a free way for New York City healthcare workers to request the support they need—beyond the work supplies that have made all the headlines.

Anyone working in an NYC hospital or EMS as a doctor, nurse, technician, EMT, food service worker, janitor or other support staff can visit Help.Supply, type in their details and choose the type of help they're looking for—the three categories are grocery shopping and delivery, childcare and mental-health services—and one of Work & Co's volunteer partners will make it happen.

Here's a video showing the flow of the tool:

Volunteers from three community aid organizations are fulfilling the requests: Mutual Aid NYC for grocery shopping and delivery; Workers Need Childcare for childcare services; and the NYC COVID Care Network for mental-health requests.

The grocery and childcare services are available to residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, with limited coverage in Staten Island. Mental health services are available virtually to residents of the tri-state area, and are generally filled within three days. The grocery delivery and mental health services are free, while childcare is highly discounted.

While Help Supply was built by Work & Co, it is a collaborative effort made possible by individuals from Work & Co, Adobe and Dropbox, along with several medical students who worked on product strategy and community outreach. It was designed with input from medical students, community organizers and technologists.

"The need for protective equipment has drawn attention and widespread support. But less obvious to people that aren't healthcare or essential workers is that the very individuals who are helping save lives are challenged to get some of their basic needs met," says Steven McDonald, MD and professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University. "As my colleagues and I focus on helping countless Covid patients, knowing that we have a way to get groceries or make sure the kids are OK is a relief. Help Supply is really addressing an unmet need among healthcare providers."

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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