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Twin Cities Aid Distribution Locations

A webapp to coordinate aid and care in the Twin Cities.

About the project

This project is only a few months old, and things continue to change and develop. We'll do our best to keep this readme up-to-date, but if something doesn't look right, it may be out of date. Feel free to ask about it!

This project is unusual because there are two separate teams working in tandem:

  • Website team: This team (us) is using a channel within the Open Twin Cities slack to communicate. There's a link at the top of the Open Twin Cities website to join, if you'd like to help out.
  • Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project: TCMAP is a collective, all-volunteeer effort that works to coordinate with aid sites and manage the data that feeds the site on a day-to-day basis. Over 100 volunteers have now been involved in the project. Leadership and tech-oriented volunteers from TCMAP coordinate with stakeholders to source designs, product direction, feature requests and feedback that drive development. TCMAP spawned from a large Facebook group called South Minneapolis Mutual Aid Autonomous Zone Coordination that emerged in the wake of the uprisings in Minneapolis in May 2020.

Participation is welcome both on the web team and TCMAP sides of this project. Some developers have engaged through Github and the Open Twin Cities Slack channel alone; others have joined TCMAP to help coordinate efforts, or just to better understand use cases. You can join TCMAP through the volunteer page on their website.

Feature requests & feedback

We're using Github Issues to manage tasks, and have a kanban board set up. If you'd like access to the kanban board reach out in the OTC slack channel.

If you've got a feature request or feedback to share on the website, feel free to submit an issue on GH issues, or bring it up in slack.


If you're ready to start contributing:

  1. Reach out to #tc-aid-dev channel in the Open Twin Cities Slack or #dragon-riders channel in Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project Slack and ask to be added to the Developers team for the Twin-Cities-Mutual-Aid Github organization. This will give you access to create branches and push to a clone of the twin-cities-aid-distribution-locations repo and will give you read access to the secrets repo for local environment variables.
  2. Clone down the repo - be sure to clone and not fork. Our current CI/CD solution (TravisCI) cannot inject environment variables to forks so any PRs submitted from a fork will have failing tests.
  3. Take a look at the Kanban board, assign yourself to an issue, and pull it into In Progress. Issues on the Kanban board tagged with Ready To Go or Good First Issue are good ones to start with.
  4. Create a branch following the format issue-<issue#>/<github-username>/<short-description-of-work>.
  5. Code to your heart's content!
  6. Reach out to either slack channel listed above for any questions.
  7. When you are ready for review, submit a pull request and tag anyone from the Approvers team to review.
  8. When your code has been approved, squash & merge the code.


Data is sourced from an Airtable database through the tcmap-api backend.

Additional Documentation

About the application

This started as a very lightweight, single page html file, and we've tried very hard to keep things as simple as possible.


Two options currently:

Build Local

  1. Install node at the version specified in the .node-version file. If you use a version manager like nodenv or nvm, this should be detected automatically.

  2. Install dependencies with npm

        npm install
  3. Configure environment variables

  4. Build and run the application with npm

    npm run dev

Build Docker

  1. install docker (If you are on a Mac or Windows machine, recommend Docker Desktop for simplicity)

  2. Configure environment variables

  3. build the image
    • image base:
    • will fail if there is not a tagged image for the current node version specified in ./node-version
    • optional argument specifies "IMAGE_VERSION" (defaults to "latest" if not supplied)
  4. run the image
    • optional argument specifies "IMAGE_VERSION" (defaults to "latest" if not supplied) should match "IMAGE_VERSION" (default or not) from build step
  5. verify container is running

    docker ps
    • if not shown, the -a option will show stopped containers
    docker ps -a
    • currently starts with npm run dev so npm steps must complete before the app is ready (~30s give or take)
  6. logs from the container can be viewed with

    docker logs twin-cities-aid-distribution-locations_web_1
    • twin-cities-aid-distribution-locations_web_1 is the default container name used
    • the logs can be "tailed" (console will continuously show new log statements) using the -f option
    docker logs -f twin-cities-aid-distribution-locations_web_1
  7. to stop and remove the docker container and network

    docker-compose down

and ... go

  1. Visit the application in your browser at http://localhost:8080
  2. Start building!

Environment Variables

The application uses environmental variables to manage configuration between environments. These values are set in a .env file in the project root directory.

To set up a .env, copy the .env.example file, which lists needed configuration values. For example, in the Mac OS terminal:

cp .env.example .env

A set variable in the .env file will look like this:


If you're a member of the Twin Cities Mutual Aid organization you can find the default values for the local development env file here:

If not, you can ask for the most recent values of the configuration values from the Open Twin Cities slack #tc-aid-dev channel.

If you need to introduce a new environmental variable, please coordinate with developers in the #tc-aid-dev channel, add it to the .env.example file, and note it in your pull request.

Run locally

To run a development server that will auto-reload on save, run this command from the project directory:

npm run dev

A server will run on http://localhost:8080

Adding things

Adding A Dependency

  1. Add your dependency with npm install --save <dep>
  2. Use your dependency with import <whatever> from '<dep>'
  3. Run npm run snowpack install to vendor the dependency

Adding Stylesheets

From a dependency

  1. Import the sheet from the dist folder like import '<dep>/dist/stylesheet.css
  2. That's it.

From a new Source file

  1. Create a stylesheet in src/styles
  2. Import the sheet either in the index or from whatever js file the styles apply to.

Adding an Image

Images go in public/images and will be served under <url>/images/image_name.whatever

Any other static file

If you need to add some other kind of static file, it should go somewhere in the public folder.

Code of Conduct

Contributors to the project are expected to follow the Code of Conduct.


A webapp to coordinate aid and care in the Twin Cities.


Code of conduct





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