Giving up our time to volunteer and using our professional skills to make a difference is something that both Aaron and I do. Why do we do it? Because we both have causes, not necessarily the same ones (and that is ok), that we care about and want to support. And, we believe that it is important to give something back.
Aaron believes passionately in the free and open web. He contributes to open source projects and he’s built an open source content management system, using Ruby on Rails, PushType. For him, it’s about giving something back to the community of developers, which he is a part of, that created the tools he uses every day.
For me, it’s because I believe that if you can do something that will help make a difference why wouldn't you? And, it also benefits me because I get the chance to learn new things, make new connections and do what I love to do.
Writing about bears
Earlier this year I saw a tweet from @yourfirstpr asking for someone to ‘bring @hoodiehq’s newest mascot to life by writing a bio and story for it’. I thought ‘that’s not something I’ve done before and, after I had got Aaron to explain how GitHub works, I staked my claim.
Writing a biography for a bear, Hood.ie’s blog bear, gave me the opportunity to learn about Hood.ie who they are, what they do and their aims. I had to think about things I’d not thought about before, read up on them as an organisation and understand their cheesecake analogy (it’s all about the base). I really enjoyed it and now I’ve contributed to an open source project too. You can read about blog bear, and the other Hood.ie animals over on their website.
Volunteering to help families in need
Another Twitter find was Baby Bank Network, a Bristol-based charity that collects baby clothes, toys and equipment that are pre-loved and pass them on to families in need. I saw one of their tweets looking for people to help out with their social media. I got in touch to find out more and see if I could help. I’ve written a blog post for them about volunteering. I spent time learning more about what they do and what they need in terms of volunteers. If you are interested in finding out more about ways you might be able to help out visit the current help needed page on their website.
Contributing to our communities
For Aaron and I it’s important that we are active members of our communities, that we contribute to and participate in them. Whether that is an online developer community or our local community what we do can help to make a difference.