Thumbtack.com, a San Francisco web-based service directory, is offering to help connect people with contractors needed to help cleanup in the wake of last weekend’s hurricane free of charge.



Thumbtack.com, a San Francisco web-based service directory, is offering to help connect people with contractors needed to help cleanup in the wake of last weekend’s hurricane free of charge.

Similar to Craigslist.org or Yelp.com, Thumbtack’s business is in finding local service providers in all 50 states to list their services, while the company takes requests for services from potential clients and charges the contractor a fee for successfully connecting them.

The site lists companies offering services from tutors and teachers to roofers and landscapers, including just about anything you can think of in between.

With 150,000 professionals listed around the country and almost 19,000 in just our region, the company is offering to waive the fee they would normally take for connecting tree services, landscapers, electricians, carpenters and other professionals with clients who need their services as a result of Irene’s aftermath.

“Like everyone else, we’ve been closely following all of the coverage of Hurricane Irene.” Said company co-founder Sander Daniels. “We know this was a bad storm for many people. We have many friends and family who were holed up for the weekend throughout the East Coast. And we want to do what we can to help out with the clean up effort.

“Our company is currently connecting more than 5,000 storm clean-up and repair professionals on the East Coast with those who need help recovering from Irene — for free. We’ve completely waived all fees for service professionals in states affected by Hurricane Irene (through) next week so that nothing stands in the way of our service professionals helping people affected by the storm.”

In addition to waiving the fees they would normally charge, Daniels says the company is also offering a concierge service for those with special needs.

“If any resident of the East Coast needs special help, please e-mail us at HurricaneHelp@Thumbtack.com and we’ll prioritize your e-mail and reach out to you immediately to get you the help you need.” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Daniels said, the company didn’t get the response they thought they might, but he says that’s due to the fact that the power is still out in much of the area, so people can’t get on the internet to access his site. They didn’t anticipate such extended outages, he said.

In the past couple of days response to the program has picked up dramatically, and Daniels says he expects participation to grow a lot more once people get their power back and start trying to get the cleanup and repair underway in earnest.

“We started this program,” Daniels explained, “Because, even though our company is located on the West Coast, many of us are East Coasters and know how much damage these storms can cause. We grew up and have family in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut. We saw the headlines and knew that launching this program was the right thing to do.

“In the grand scheme of things, offering our service for free to those in Wayne County and elsewhere for a couple weeks won't make a big difference to our company's well-being - but we figured it could make a big difference to people like our friends and family who are having trouble cleaning up after the storm.”