This past weekend the Colorado Give Camp down in Denver was held. This being my first Give Camp experience I didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t help that the drive was long and my motivation was low (it being a Friday).
To be honest I asked myself if staying for two nights was going to be worth the effort?
Will I be able to find something to contribute?
All the feelings of the unknown and self-doubt crept in, but I’ve learned that you never can predict how things will go with certainty so I persevered.
Now, after the weekend and going through the experience, I can now can give a resounding 100% YES it’s worth the effort!
Arrival and the Charities
When we arrived we all gathered in the common room and the charities presented their projects.
The charities were:
Anchor Center for Blind Children, who needed an application to move their website form data into an internal database with the flexibility to easily change the field mapping.
Community Ministry, who needed some reporting functionality for ministry and tax purposes
The Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, who needed a web-based application to track their data (instead of passing excel spreadsheets around the office)
Partners in Routt County, who needed a way to track volunteers
Pikes Peak Young Marines, who needed a website for their members and the community
Our work was cut out for us and we were split into teams and went to work.
I started off as part of the Young Marines project in which we created a clean and easily update-able site for them (http://ppyms.org) using MojoPortal and hosting for the life of the charity from the generous folks at DiscountASP (http://discountasp.net/)
I also was able to lend a hand with ASP.NET Webforms on the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking project. In fact we worked hard well into the early morning wrapping up their CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) design.
I have to say while at the event everyone was very friendly, laid back, but also serious and “heads down” when we needed to be. It was a very professional and dedicated team.
By far the most gratifying part was to see the look on the charities faces when the end products were delivered. I was thanked personally several times and it capped off a long and tiring, but fun and very rewarding weekend.
I think as an I.T. professional there are a lot of times we deliver an end-product to faceless corporations or folks we never meet. This was all about pouring our knowledge into generosity and giving of ourselves to a more tangible “customer”.
So, if you’re on the fence about attending the next Give Camp don’t be. It’s truly one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as an I.T. professional