SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — Ellie Vogel came up with the idea for her volunteer website while shopping at the store with her mom for her grandparents and an aunt with a health condition.

“I saw a lot of elderly people there and I felt really bad,” Vogel said, knowing that the elderly are vulnerable to COVID-19. “I know there’re a lot of people that want to help, so I just wanted to find a way to connect them together.”

Vogel, a 16-year-old Sophomore at Waterford School, created communityconnectionsutah.com in order to connect those who need assistance with those who are looking for ways to help those in need. She said she knows many people who want to volunteer, but due to the virus, many volunteer opportunities are currently suspended.

Vogel said she has personal experience with this and felt like she should be doing something to help out the community.

The concept of the website is simple. There are two buttons- one allows visitors to fill out a request assistance form, and the other allows visitors to fill out a volunteer form. The request assistance form requires a name, address, and contact information.

Currently, Vogel said she will be manually connecting the volunteers to those in need. She said she is planning on letting volunteers choose which opportunity they would like to pursue.

“This is definitely a time when people need more assistance than normal or just need more help, but even after COVID-19 passes, I think this would be an amazing thing to keep continuing,” Vogel said.

Though right now, many of the volunteers who have signed up are from Salt Lake County, Vogel said she would love to see the project expand to other counties as well.

Vogel explained what volunteering means to her.

“I think it’s just helping people because you can or you’re in a better place or you have the opportunity to help other people. The younger generation right now are people who are less likely to get seriously ill with the virus,” she said. “They should be helping people that are more at risk do things they used to be able to do on a day-to-day basis.”

To sign up as a volunteer or to request assistance through Vogel’s website, click here.

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