GiveCamp_FINALIt looks like the GiveCamp phenomenon is really starting to catch on!

This weekend is the first ever Ann Arbor GiveCamp event.  Jennifer Marsman, a friend and fellow Developer Evangelist from the Michigan area, planned a GiveCamp event for her local-area non-profits that brought in a whole bunch of developers to support 15 charities!  Way to go Jennifer!  As I write this, they’re busy building applications, and we’ll (hopefully) get to see the results on Sunday evening.  For more information about this event, check out the web site at http://annarborgivecamp.org.

I also learned this week while touring Northwest Arkansas that Jay Smith and the fine folks from the NWADNUG leadership, are planing their own GiveCamp charity event.  Jay has a blog post up about it, and is looking for volunteers.  If you’re interested in helping out charities in the Northwest Arkansas area, I recommend you reach out to Jay and let him know you’re ready to help.

And, of course, I posted last week that J Sawyer, my teammate from Houston, is also in the midst of planning a GiveCamp event for the Houston area.  I’ll definitely be involved in that event (as will the rest of my team members) and would encourage all developers, designers and DBAs in the Houston Area to start putting their teams together to help out some of your most needy local area non-profits and charities.

Chris Koenig's Pink TentMy own GiveCamp experience (as seen in the picture at the right) was absolutely amazing – Toi Wright and the folks over at BravoTech hosted our first ever event, titled “We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge Weekend” last January here in Dallas.  We had over 125 developers, designers, DBAs, volunteers and charity team members participate in a 3-day code-fest that generated applications for 18 non-profits and charities.  After the success of We Are Microsoft, and Kansas City’s Coders4Charities, it is really touching to see how those events have really inspired so many people to give back to their local communities.   Way to go Jay and the NWADNUG!  If I can help you out at all, just say the word…

If you are interested in running your own GiveCamp-style event, we’ve put together a website to help you get started and to share your experiences in organizing, planning and running GiveCamp events.  On that web site is an evolving “cookbook” to help new organizers get started on their planning.  You don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to run a GiveCamp event, but we’d love for you to incorporate the GiveCamp logo into your site and reference the GiveCamp movement from your advertisements.  GiveCamp is not owned by me, or by my employer – it’s a community-led effort, put together by developers who care about their local community want to give back using their time and development talents. 

Oh, and our next Dallas-area event – We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge Weekend 2 – will be held at BravoTech on January 16-18, 2008 so block off that time on your calendars right now before someone else tries to steal you away.  The web site has not yet been updated with the latest info, so stay tuned for updates.

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