Do Action: WordPress Community Charity Hackathon

If there’s one thing that truly makes WordPress awesome for me, it would be the community. Interaction in the WordPress Community has not only given me advice and connections that have generated actual value for our business, it’s also made me aware of the good that we can do through the WordPress charitable organization: do_action.

It is a charity Hackathon that takes place in several cities around the world every year and is designed to help charities and non-profits by providing them with an online presence.

What’s great about do_action to me is that it involves the charities themselves in the creation of these websites and very often teaches people new skills and fosters an interest in technology. do_action also involves companies from their local communities, who act as sponsors.

Companies can sponsor do_action events through either monetary or service based sponsorships. WMYS is proud to be a sponsor of do_action Cape Town, taking place in July, 2018.

Who benefits and who makes it possible?

The open source spirit of giving freely, that is central to the WordPress community, is evident in the do_action events as well. Perhaps springing from it? To give you an idea of the beneficiary charities of these events, let’s take a look at the previous do_action in Cape Town, 2017, to get an idea:

The Charities:

The main goal for do_action is to provide support for charities. Charities can apply to be recipients through the do_action website. There is no specific field that the charity has to adhere to, although a strong focus on uplifting the local community is one of the main determining factors when it comes to who gets selected.

Let’s look at some examples from last year:

  • Ikamva Labantwana.

    This is a wonderful charity with a focus on education. They offer assistance with tutoring and extra classes and also assists students with high school placement.

  • Cart Horse Protection Association

    An organization focusing on the protection and well being of horses in the Cape Town area. Donors can “Adopt a Horse”, sponsoring an animal that has been abused or neglected, which the owners of the CHPA nurse back to health.

  • The Carpenter’s shop

    Homelessness is rampant in Cape Town. TCS tries to alleviate this problem by providing basic social care and facilities and has a variety of methods for Donors to get involved. There are over 1000 homeless people on the streets of Cape Town alone.

These were just a few of the charities who were assisted by do_action Cape Town last year. For a full list see the previous event page here.If you are a charity somewhere near cape town, apply here to have your organization be considered for taking part in the do_action taking place in July.

The Sponsors

A lot of this is made possible by sponsors. Sponsors can provide either monetary support or services as sponsorship and it is often that through sponsoring events such as these the long term benefits of deepening connections to the WordPress community really makes it worthwhile for companies to get on board an sponsor do_actions.

We Manage Your Site, Inc. is providing sponsorship by giving all the charities free access to our eCommerce support plan.

So we’ll be providing our round the clock support for all these charities well after the event has taken place. We’re very proud to have been given this opportunity and look forward to helping these organization succeed online.

What’s a Hackathon, anyway?

Just developer-speak for an event where many people collaborate in a development project, or projects, in this case. Think lots of people, lots of laptops, an atmosphere of buzzing creativity and excitement. You get the picture. But what makes this one different, is it’s all for a good cause.

WordPress Community Photo - doAction Cape Town 2017
Photo Credit: do_action.org

I’ve been to a few of these type of events and it’s always a good time.

The Setting: V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Should you find yourself near Cape Town in July this year, pop in at the Watershed, which is situated at the World Famous V&A Waterfront. The Watershed itself has a myriad of shops and eateries and the top level has awesome co-working space, which is called Workshop 17. Read more about Workshop 17 .

Come by and see do_action in action!

Workshop 17 seen from outside
Photo Credit: CoWorker

Why you should care.

Why is it important to begin with? Because we’re helping these charities by giving them an awesome presence. Which helps them reach more people and get their message in front of more eyeballs. Which increases their chances of receiving donations and support.

It also help these organisations have a online presence they can point to when talking up sponsors of their own.

Not only that, the learning process that these charities go through helps unlock technical skills in their own volunteer and employee base. Which in turn adds more people who contribute to the WordPress community. It’s a win-win-win!

How to Get Involved:

As with anything WordPress does, even do_actions are open source an you can organize one yourself. Have a look at the Organizer’s Handbook for more info. You can also sign up to participate in an event from the homepage of doaction.org.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a video from last year’s event, which should give you an indication on how awesome last years event was and what you can expect for 2018: