Philly Give Camp 1 - June 4th-6th
Blog post by Dani Diaz, Event Co-Ordinator...
June 4th-6th was the inaugural Philly Give Camp at the Microsoft Malvern Office. GiveCamp (http://givecamp.org), is a weekend-long event where software developers and designers donate their time, effort and expertise to create custom software for non-profit organizations.
I have to say that this was one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life. One of the volunteers said it best, "Philly Give Camp gave me the opportunity to use my professional talents to help my friend and a great organization." I would like to see Philly Give Camp become an annual event and would encourage everyone to participate. Please, help us keep the buzz going. Share with your friends and nonprofit organizations to make the next Give Camp even better. Stay tune to the website for more information about this and future events.
This weekend would not have been possible without the dedicated and awesome technical community in Philadelphia. I am truly humbled by the passion and professionalism that this community has. Giving up not only a day but a full weekend on a beautiful summer day shows the compassion and dedication of everyone who took part in the event. Also, thanks to the nonprofit representatives who also gave up their time to make sure their organizations benefited from the weekend. Hope we were able to help you help others.
· Microsoft - Facilities, breakfast both days and event t-shirts
· Marriot Court Yard - Discounted rooms for volunteers
· Cornucopia Catering - Dinner on Friday
· Queen of Hearts - Coffee and tea service Saturday morning
· Crocodile Catering - Lunch on Saturday
· Mediterranio Pizzeria - Dinner on Saturday
· The Desmond - Farewell lunch on Sunday and conference room on Saturday when our Internet connection went down
· Discount ASP – Free web hosting
· Applied Innovation – Free web hosting
· Telerik – Donated sitefinity CMS for 5 websites
· 15 non-profit organizations participated in the event
· 91 volunteers – developers, designers, project managers, and more!
· 18 projects – everything from web sites to mobile apps!
· Time is money: volunteers donated approximately $400K worth of services
Participating Non Profits
· Mission for Education Children with Autism http://mecaautism.org
· Families Fighting Flu http://www.familiesfightingflu.org
· Arc Of Chester County http://www.arcofchestercounty.org
· Philadelphia Folksong Society - http://www.pfs.org/
· North Philadelphia Health System - http://nphs.com
· Music Works Wonders - http://musicworkswonders.com
· Pa Micro Board Association
· Fort Washington Fire Company - http://www.fortwashingtonfc.org
· Tackle ALS Foundation - http://www.tackleals.org
· Partners for Families
· Rize – http://rizeprogram.org
· Aspira of Pennsyvania - http://www.aspirapa.org/
· Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School
· Antonia Pantoja Charter School
· Light of Hope http://lightofhope-cso.org
Sample Projects (others will be available on the Philly Give Camp site once the sites are up)
Mission for Education Children with Autism http://mecaautism.org/ and the Preparing Adolescents for Adult Life Program
This was the “darling” project of the event and one of the main drivers of how Philly Give Camp became a reality.
The primary goal of the PAAL program is to identify and teach the skills which must be mastered to prepare the student for his or her post-21 years. The organization needed a way to provide their students with easy-to-follow audio, visual and text directions for a variety of daily tasks, such as brushing teach, preparing lunch or getting dressed. To facilitate such an application, each student has a mobile device, such as an iPhone or PDA. Because each student has varying needs, their application needed to be easily customized by instructors.
An application that allows PAAL staff to individually customize task for each student. In some cases a task could have as many as 75 steps. As the students advance, steps can be eliminated. Staff would then schedule weekly tasks for each student. The schedule entered by the staff can then be access by the student via a mobile device. Student select the tasks they want to perform giving then more independence and a chance to life a more self-fulfilling life. “According to Avi Glickman, Community Education Director for MECA, “The program that you are creating is going to have a DIRECT effect on the quality of life not just for our students, but for many other individuals with developmental and cognitive deficits.”
“The project was split up into three main components – a web application for preparing and maintaining the schedules and instructions for the kids, a ReST API for interacting with the data and assets, and an iPhone application that would be used by the kids themselves for viewing their daily schedules, and walking through their days. Avi, Kaori, and Gloria from MECA were amazing throughout the process – one of them was always there for support, and they brought two of their students, Nicky and Lizzie, in to meet us which was really inspiring. Many people contributed to the progress we made – Trevor Lalish-Menagh and Jamie Ly were the primary developers and designers of the API, Joe Fritz, Kosal Sen (who also designed the awesome new logo for PAAL above), and Jon Falkner designed and built the web app, and Sebastian Meine, Erik Peterson, and Brian worked on the iPhone app.“ – Brian Donahue (one of the developers) . I am writing the Windows Phone 7 version of the application.
Aspira of Pennsyvania - http://www.aspirapa.org/
Music Works Wonders - http://musicworkswonders.com/
Testimonials from Philly Give Camp participants
· Thank you again for an amazing experience. We walked into this project with a few basic ideas but really had no idea what to expect. Seeing you guys turn these ideas into something tangible in such a short amount of time is truly a testament to your professionalism, expertise and dedication. I know there is more to do, but what I have seen so far has already exceeded our expectations. The program that you are creating is going to have a DIRECT effect on the quality of life not just for our students, but for many other individuals with developmental and cognitive deficits. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help you guys see this project through.
· I want to thank all of you for your efforts over the weekend at the Philly Give Camp. It was amazing what was accomplished. I came not knowing what the outcome might be from the camp. Then on Sunday, when the project "came to life," it was more than I could have hoped for. Thank you for sharing your time, talents and skills for Light of Hope and your patience with my questions and some not-so-good ideas. The camp was amazing and the feedback about the site has all been positive. Thank you for making the camp possible and for the tremendous results.
· I wanted to send you a quick email on behalf of the Tackle ALS foundation to thank you for all of your help with our website this weekend. This was a great experience for us and we appreciate you donating your skills and time.
· My mother, who works at North Philadelphia Health Systems, asked me one day if I knew of any places that would donate software/hardware to the hospital. My mother called to tell me that they were selected to be a part of the give camp and that she and her coworkers were very excited about the event. During the event, I spoke with several of the guys working on NPHS's project and learned that they were working on a scheduling system. The scheduling system was a problem that the hospital has had for several years and I remember it being mentioned when I interned for NPHS over 6 years ago.
· I just wanted to send a quick thank you note. Philly Give Camp was a great experience and I met a group of neat people. The community work involved was amazing. The techs were so professional and insightful. The RIZE website looks so much better thanks to Danilo and his staff. Again thank you for this opportunity our group is going to love it!
· @briandonahue, @cerikpete, and @maibotian worked hard on the Reader iPhone App. It is functioning right now and we are working on parsing the API as we speak. The guys were all .NET developers, so they chose Monotouch for developing their iPhone app so they could use C#. It seems pretty cool. I might be a Mac guy, but I have to admit, C# isn’t too shabby a language. :)
· I had a great weekend at #phillygivecamp. $400K worth of development for non-profits free. The demos yesterday were amazing. Feels good!
· Had a good time at #phillygivecamp look forward to the next one
· Watching the final projects presentation at #phillygivecamp. Awesome work done by awesome volunteers.
· Sign of a successful volunteer event: overwhelmed wifi! Teams adjusting well to tethered phones + public hot spots #phillygivecamp