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Do You Volunteer?

murrayvarey profile image MurrayVarey ・1 min read

I'm interested in giving back more. Do you volunteer in your free time at all -- either tech or non-tech related? If so, what do you do? Would you recommend it?

*Open Source counts -- particularly if it's a noteworthy project.

Discussion

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Yes, I do.

I'm donating my time and expertise as IT-person to a group of people who work together with a big local charity. They help refurbish desktops and laptops, provide basic training for using the Internet or document editing for people who are suffering from mental health issues, long-term illnesses or are looking to re-enter the job market after incarceration. Additionally they help out with computer-related maintenance work with other charitable groups and so on.

Unfortunately, due to the necessary cooperation with the big charity there is an unholy amount of administrative work involved, making the operation slow and inefficient. I've got nearly a dozen computers stored at home that I'd like to donate, which are waiting for approval. It's a source of great frustration.

Because of that I'm looking to expand my activities as volunteer, but it turns out that this is harder than I had hoped for. It doesn't help that I'm sadly disqualified for a lot of areas where more volunteers are direly needed. But I nonetheless hope to be able to contribute my share, even more so in the future.

 

Sorry to hear about your frustrations. That's a real shame.

Still, offering your computing expertise sounds like a great way to give back. It's one of the questions I've been weighing up -- use my existing knowledge, or do something completely different.

Good luck in your search.

 

Does answering questions on StackOverflow count? How about writing blog posts? If so, then the answer is yes. I also have a couple of small open source projects on GitHub, and planing to get more into that in the future.

 

For my part -- and to my shame -- I've done very little volunteering.

I tend to make the standard excuses: lack of time, etc. In reality, it's probably down to fear. It sounds ridiculous ... but starting anything new -- even something as well-meaning as volunteering -- is scary, right? That fear has been enough to put me off.

Just to add: This question was inspired by @jamescrowley 's awesome post Getting started with #techforgood – what I’ve found so far. Recommended reading for anyone who's interested.

 

I do volunteer software development for sunrisemovement.org. There are a lot of folks out there trying to change our world that could use a technical leg up!

 

Thanks, Luke!

I've not heard of the Sunrise Movement before. From their site, they sound really interesting. What kind of software do you develop for them?