The Dashathon

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The Dashathon

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When the pandemic quarantine was initially imposed, I found myself with lots of free time on my hands. After weeks of low motivation and extreme boredom, I decided to sign up as a food delivery driver for Doordash, a job that was in high demand at the time. By this point in quarantine, all restaurants were closed for indoor dining, but many were still offering carryout and delivery services, largely through food delivery apps such as Doordash. Some of my friends and I started driving Doordash as frequently as 5-6 nights a week. We strategically prioritized the 4 to 8 PM time-slot in order to cover the majority of the dinner shift. Although it was quite mindless work, it was one of the few things that I had to look forward to as a daily break from the monotonous isolation of quarantine. Orders were frequent and because of the high demand for delivery drivers and very light traffic, tips were generous and reflective of the community’s appreciation for service provided by “frontline workers” like ourselves.
After about a month of driving, my friends and I decided to put together a fundraiser called “Dashathon” to support some of our favorite local restaurants and small businesses that were struggling during the pandemic. Because many smaller restaurants did not have the financial resources to operate at a loss during periods of the pandemic, many were forced to shut their doors. Our idea was to reach out to all of our family and friends and designate one night where all of our income and tips from Doordash would be donated to these struggling restaurants and other local charities in need. With lots of outreach, we secured underwriting from 10 different sponsors as well as a dollar-for-dollar match pledge from Doordash itself. Our Dashathon was even highlighted in a television news segment broadcast on the local Denver NBC-affiliate newscast (linked above). We were successful in recruiting over 40 drivers to participate in our event. Through a competition-style format that rewarded the highest earners with gift cards from our sponsors, we were able to raise $15,000 dollars in just four hours. The proceeds were distributed in their entirety to designated local restaurants and charities.

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This item was submitted on September 16, 2021 by Joel Douglas using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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