Give Camp Brings $50,000 in Tech Talent to Local Charities

As many as 80 software developers, designers and database administrators will soon pile into Lansing’s Impression 5 Science Center for a weekend of non-stop giving of their talent. Call it a highly caffeinated pajama party with a serious purpose.

It’s called Give Camp, a movement that started two years ago in Dallas and will land in Lansing April 24 to 26. Code writers with laptops in hand will come from as far away as Tennessee to offer their services for 48 hours to 10 to 15 Capital region charities, says Jay Harris, an organizer of Michigan Give Camp.

Following Lansing’s gig, the developers will gather in Ann Arbor in July.

Area charities were contacted through the United Way and asked to submit potential projects. They could range from creation of a new web site to development of a data-collection application.

The hourly rate for developing a web site could easily come to $5,000, a difficult expense for many non-profits.
“This is all about developers giving back to the community. For us, this is better than giving money,” says Harris, who is a web developer at SRT Solutions in Ann Arbor.
But Give Camp does need money, as much as $5,000 to cover costs, especially to feed the workers as they labor over their good deeds. Those wishing to give dollars or food may check the web site.
“There will be lots of Red Bull, since some of the developers will not sleep,” he chuckles.

Impression 5 will remain open for its usual hours. Most of the workers will be holed up in the basement in the large room that once housed a huge model train exhibit.

“It will be a fun time for a good cause,” says Harris.

Source: Jay Harris, Michigan Give Camp

Gretchen Cochran, Innovation & Jobs editor, may be reached here
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