Find a helper with a Kelowna-based app - InfoNews

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Find a helper with a Kelowna-based app

SkillGarden.ca is matching up helpers with helpees in a time of COVID-19.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Skillgarden.ca
April 01, 2020 - 12:20 PM

They say necessity is the mother of invention and the need to innovate has never been more apparent than now, the time of COVID-19.

As businesses shutter and families retreat into their own spaces, getting life’s needs met has presented new sets of challenges.

The founders of SkillGarden.ca, Sherrilee Franks and Maizal Munif, realized that last weekend.

They were self-isolating at home, doing odd jobs around the house when the pressure washer died, Franks said.

“(I) thought how do we fix this from home and how do we get a part,” she said.

SkillGarden.ca is matching up helpers with helpees in a time of COVID-19.
SkillGarden.ca is matching up helpers with helpees in a time of COVID-19.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Skillgarden.ca

She took her query to social media and over the course of two hours the responses poured in as people who were bored at home offered up just the advice that was needed.

“This is exactly what people need — they need to stay home, stay social and... keep their brains busy,” said Franks.

That was last weekend, and by the following Monday Munif decided to pivot SkillGarden.ca from an app that focuses on mentor and student relationships to one that deals with the helper and helpee relationship.

Although helpers are able to offer their expertise at a cost, they encourage anyone who is able to offer their skills for free (or at least heavily discounted) to assist those who are struggling through these uncertain times.

“The way it works is you sign up with your Facebook account, it verifies you that it is you, and then you list the skills and the experience you have,” Munif said.

On the other side, you can pose a query that will meet your needs, then make a connection, and message the expert. There are video and text chat to assist the process.

Already they’re getting four to six sign-ups a day.

“It’s not bad considering it started on Saturday,”  Munif said.

While they haven’t had much time to figure out what needs are emerging as of yet, some things have emerged.

So far there’s been school-based stuff, arts and photography being discussed.

There have also been some queries on how to grow marijuana, which may speak to the needs in a different way.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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