It’s an all too familiar scenario: between the parties, shopping and decorating, by the time January 1st rolls around, you find yourself looking back on yet another holiday season feeling guilty about not having spent anytime giving back to those in need. But not this year, thanks to TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit is an online platform that allows individuals, dubbed “TaskPosters,” to list errands they want completed and certified “TaskRabbits” then bid on how much they want to earn for completing the task. During the holiday season, TaskRabbit is encouraging people to outsource their donations by posting them as tasks. For example, posters can hire rabbits to go to the grocery store to buy canned goods and then drop them off at a local food bank or soup kitchen.
TaskRabbit founder and Chief Product Officer Leah Busque is very passionate about local food banks – so much so that TaskRabbit has committed to donating 5 percent of every food donation task to Feeding America during the holiday season. Additionally, TaskRabbit is donating TaskRabbits to staff soup kitchens and homeless shelters in all active cities throughout the month of December.
In Boston, TaskRabbit is sponsoring Pine Street Inn on Wednesday, December 7, and Boston Rescue Mission on Thursday, December 8, by providing the organizations with a staff of TaskRabbits to run the shelters on those days. “It’s a pretty simple mission: lend the great Rabbit Army that we have to help those in need,” says Jen Smith, Founding City Manager of TaskRabbit Boston.
And the Rabbit Army has responded overwhelmingly to their mission here in Boston. “We definitely have a Rabbit community that’s willing to give back,” says Smith. “It just seems most appropriate to be doing that.”
TaskRabbit chose Pine Street Inn and Boston Rescue Mission because they are currently the shelters with the biggest needs. The Rabbits will be completing various tasks around the shelters, such as preparing and serving breakfast and lunch, cleaning up after the meals and other various tasks in and around the buildings. “Both organizations were extremely receptive,” says Smith of their willingness to allow Rabbits into the shelters next week. “If they can use our help, we want to give back to them.”
After all, TaskRabbit was founded on the principle of neighbors helping neighbors. It may sound cheesy, but in my experiences with the platform, the Rabbits truly are willing to help those in their local communities. Last week at 11pm, I posted that I needed a ride to the airport at 10am the next morning. By 11:30pm, I had a ride locked down, and she even showed up 15 minutes early the next day. Tell me, when does a cab ever do that for you?
“It may not necessarily be your physical neighbors, but it’s community building in so many different senses,” adds Smith. “As we become more established in Boston, we want to continue to give back. We started here [in Boston], and that’s what we really should be doing…A lot of people need help, and they can’t necessarily afford it. That’s something that we can continue doing the whole year.”
To donate to your local food shelter through TaskRabbit, click here.