Local tech firm Selfless.ly uses its platform to make sure Hoosiers get COVID vaccine
Indianapolis-based Selfless.ly, which has pioneered a corporate volunteer engagement and tracking platform, is using its software to pull together an army of volunteers to help keep COVID-19 vaccination sites run by Adult & Child Health humming at optimal speed.
Adult & Child Health officials think the system is easily replicable, and Selfless.ly founder Josh Driver is hoping to expand his company’s efforts to other COVID-19 vaccine sites in the coming weeks and months.
Selfless.ly’s platform allows not-for-profit organizations to engage with companies that have employees looking to volunteer. Selfless.ly’s software also manages and tracks the volunteer efforts to maximize the impact.
The tech firm put its technology know-how to use to pull together volunteers quickly to help staff Adult & Child Health’s downtown Indianapolis and Franklin locations, where the coronavirus vaccine is being administered.
The volunteers help with a variety of non-medical functions, from directing traffic in parking lots and directing patients once inside the facility to assisting with paperwork and making sure those there for their first shot have an appointment to get their second vaccine.
While those tasks may seem menial, Lauran Canady, director of clinic-based services at Adult & Child Health, said the volunteers’ has been invaluable in keeping the vaccine clinics running smoothly.
“What the volunteers are doing is extremely helpful,” Canady said. “We’re excited to be part of the solution and help solve the pandemic, but we’re doing these clinics on top of our normal day-to-day operations. The volunteers that have come to us through Selfless.ly have helped us provide a seamless operation for people to come in and get their vaccine. If we didn’t have their help we wouldn’t be able to maintain this vaccine service and meet the normal needs of our everyday patients.”
Driver, who founded Selfless.ly in 2017, was approached by Serve Indiana—the state commission on volunteerism and service—earlier this year about an opportunity for volunteers at COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites.
Driver jumped at the chance to help.
“Our role is to give new tools to companies that want to give back, but couldn’t necessarily do it internally,” Driver explained. “We spend a lot of time looking at new ways people can volunteer and interact with non-profits and charitable causes and organizations. I have a focus group from the non-profit community and we talk about how we can create better volunteer opportunities and increase corporate volunteerism. One person in our focus group said he heard Adult and Child Health needed administrative help at vaccine sites. And of course, we said, ‘Let’s do it.’
“Selfless.ly’s platform manages volunteer efforts, so we created a schedule for vaccine volunteers for Adult & Child Health,” Driver added. “It’s a pilot platform that will run through the end of March, and we may look to expand that even further.”
Driver said the partnership gives many volunteers who are not health care workers a chance to help on the front lines of the COVID battle for the first time.
“For most of us, we haven’t had a chance to get on the front line to help get people vaccinated,” Driver said. “We all want to get back to our new normal and this helps non-healthcare workers to be a part of this effort.”
Four locally rooted companies—Passageways, FirstPerson Advisors, Gener8tor and Robert Dietrick & Co.—were the first to
jump on board of the effort. All of Selfless.ly’s staffers as well as members of Women & Hi Tech and Serve Indiana also joined the volunteer effort.
More than 200 people have expressed interest in volunteering at the vaccination sites. So far, more than 100 volunteers have been signed up to work a two- to four-hour shift.
Canady thinks other vaccine distribution sites also could use volunteer assistance.
“This partnership has really been a win-win,” she said. “The pandemic has been horrible, and people want to be a part of the solution. These volunteers are helping us get out of the pandemic and into our new normal—whatever that is going to be.”
The time it takes to train the volunteers has been a worthy investment, Canady added.
“This is a model that could be easily replicated,” Canady said. “We have been able to teach and train these volunteers very quickly. They have very quickly been oriented to our system and have quickly become an effective part of the clinic.”
Driver said he would be open to using his platform and volunteer network at other clinic sites.
“Absolutely, we’d be willing to work with other vaccine distribution sites,” Driver said. “We will do anything to help get more vaccines out. I hope with this pilot to get feedback from clinics and volunteers and get everything locked down and efficient, then we’ll work to expand this outward.”