Teen creates website to help people find essential supplies during coronavirus crisis

The 17-year-old says his grandmother's need helped sparked the idea

ATLANTA — You may be seeing a lot of empty shelves at grocery chains and other stores. But a 17-year-old high schooler is bringing relief to stressed people across the country who can’t find cleaning and paper products.

Channel 2’s Wendy Corona learned he’s doing it all while self-isolating.

Blake Rand is a skilled computer programmer. With his school closed because of coronavirus, he also has a lot of time on his hands.

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Recently his mother came to him with a problem.

“My mom needed supplies, as everybody else does, and she couldn’t really find any, so I just went online and just kept looking and looking everywhere and found some,” Rand said.

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When his grandmother, who has Parkinson’s and can’t leave the house, couldn’t find her supplies online, he was struck with an idea.

“I just decided to help out the community and make a website,” Rand said.

The website is called Coronafinds.com and on it are the results of hours of online scouring Rand spends to locate hard-to-find, in-stock products like toilet paper.

“It’s just a list of links that are updated daily and it’ll pretty much just give you the item name and if you want to purchase an item you just go to link and it takes you to a bigger retailer like Target or CVS and then you can just purchase it there,” Rand said.

He told Corona that the products can almost always be found on major retailer sites, you just have to sift through hundreds of choices.

“Like a lot of people don’t look at like the Dollar General and those kind of stores, Boxed. I try to find like smaller stores too because those usually have a lot in stock,” Rand said.

Needless to say, his family’s supplies are doing pretty good.

“I got enough. I’m not hoarding though, but I have enough,” Rand said.

Blake said he is looking in to automating Coronafinds.com. Also, in his spare time he does security research to find vulnerabilities in sites like Apple and Snapchat.