A weekend of round-the-clock effort fueled by caffeine and passion paid off big for 13 charitable organizations in southeastern Michigan, including Hope Clinic International, Leslie Science and Nature Center, Red Beard Press and Talkin’ Proper, all based in Ann Arbor.

Each got a new Web site or Web application built for free by volunteers at Ann Arbor GiveCamp, held Sept. 17-19 at Washtenaw Community College.

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit groups submitted applications to attend. Their proposed project had to something that could be completed in a weekend.

Hope Clinic International, www.hopeclinicinternational.org, builds medical clinics and provides free medical care for women and children in Nicaragua. It got a beautiful new Web site, which president Sheryl Snyder says is more in keeping with the doctors and nurses they need to attract for the work.

“For small nonprofits who can’t afford huge amounts of money to do their Web site, it levels the playing field,” Snyder said. “We have a site that’s at a professional level which helps us increase our donor base and more.”

Leslie Science and Nature Center, www.lesliesnc.org, attended their second GiveCamp this year to finish off a large, complicated project started last year. The center needed a Web-based scheduling program to keep track of the many programs and participants it accommodates each year.

“We were doing all of this work before by paper trail,” said Karen Rendell, business manager at the center.

The new system saves hours of work.

“With the click of a mouse we can see what we have available, what staff are available,” Rendell said.

This year, a team of developers helped tweak the system to expand its capabilities and make it even more user-friendly.

“Both years have been phenomenal,” Rendell said.

Without GiveCamp, Rendell says the center could not have afforded the estimated $22,000 in work done last year or the additional $6,000 worth of help received this year.

GiveCamp organizer Michael Eaton estimates that just over 1,400 hours were donated by volunteers. Using an average rate of $75 an hour for their work, he said Ann Arbor GiveCamp provided $105,000 of free service to 13 charities and nonprofit organizations. Similar GiveCamps are held annually in Grand Rapids and Lansing. This was the third Ann Arbor GiveCamp.

Washtenaw Community College donated space for the event. Major sponsors included Microsoft Corp., Domino’s Pizza and Pepsi.

The nonprofit organizations aided by Ann Arbor GiveCamp 2010 were:

Action by Presence Inc. — Detroit
Citizens for Animal Rescue & Emergencies — Flint
Clio Area Senior Center — Clio
Flint River Watershed Coalition – Flint
Hope Clinic International — Ann Arbor
Leslie Science & Nature Center — Ann Arbor
Manchester Co-op Preschool — Manchester
Parkridge Community Center — Ypsilanti
Pregnancy Aid, Inc. of Eastern Wayne County — Detroit
Red Beard Press — Ann Arbor
Talkin’ Proper — Ann Arbor
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank — Canton Township
Wonderpuzzle — Manchester

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

  1. Gerhard Weiss says:

    This was my first year attending a GiveCamp (http://annarborgivecamp.org) and I was only able to attend the last day (Sunday). I, like many other people in this great state, lead a very busy life with my Wife, Family (4 kids + soccer = crazy), Work and being Secretary at Great Lakes Area .NET Users Group (http://migang.org). All of this fills up the days VERY fast.

    BUT even being there one day REALLY MOVE ME and it was such an outstanding experience that next year I am going to try and get creative by getting some home aid of my own (Mom, Brothers, Sisters, etc.) so I can attend all three days. I would also like to invite you Mr Roush and your readers to experience this next year. In your case, your writing skills would help out a lot by adding/proofing the content on these websites. If you can only make one day I would recommend Sunday. You will not only get the tail end of the website development but also get to attend the Closing Ceremonies (2:00pm) where the charity reps and developers give a demo of their new site. It was so moving to hear the charities heartfelt thanks to the developers for giving them something that they, in all reality, could never afford. Having this done for them allows them to focus on what they do best and that is helping people and in one charity case animals. :)

    Thanks Mr. Roush for writing a great article and I look forward to see you (and your readers) at the “2011 Ann Arbor Give Camp”.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE