Geeks and Charity

Holly and I had a long day at a charity event that we helped organize and put on, as we mentioned yesterday, and it’s late, and I don’t have a lot of steam. But today did get me thinking about charity, and how geeks interact with it.

I think geeks are a generous and giving sort, but we’re also a sort that fills a lot of our leisure time with other pursuits, and spends our spare money on cultural artifacts. The same sort of time and money those “other people” might put into volunteering and charity. Well, okay, everyone has stuff they do with their time, and everyone has stuff they do with their money – so as geeks we should make sure we too are involved in our communities!

Use What You Know

To give an example just from what I did, I mainly ran the Facebook advertising side of things. With the help of one of the committee chairs, we posted two to three Facebook posts a day for the last several weeks. I also liked the sponsors and other related businesses, sharing their information as some of my posts, and generally connecting a community.

For day-of today, I was taking pictures, and right there from my iPhone uploading them to Facebook for live photos – both of the setup, which I thought could be fun, and then of the event itself.

There were a few other people on the committee who could have done what I did, I’m sure – there were several people who were great about liking all of the posts and helping share them – but really, I was probably the topic pick for it. The experience in running a Facebook page and working with social media in general, as well as being a writer, and having lots of ideas.

So to get involved, you don’t necessarily need skills you don’t already have – there’s likely things you can do or things you know or ideas you have that can help an event or a fundraiser or something like that happen.

Think Local

I think so often we get caught up in thinking about large causes, and looking nationally, or globally, and giving money to big organizations, or joining up in their big events. And I’ve helped with a company team for Relay for Life, so I get it. There’s a sense you can do a lot of good, and you probably can – and the name recognition helps make it happen, helps get you support.

But really, for instance, let’s stick in the same realm, even though that realm is cancer. There is an organization in our town as well that helps support people who have cancer, with travel costs to get to, and stay near, the good hospitals, as well as supporting research and such. This might be a better organization to give some time or money to. The big guys are going to still pull-off their event and make money without me, or have the organization to come up with something else if needed. But a small, local group could make or break their existence based on the good just a few people can do.

Other options

I guess if I am going to talk about Geeks and Charity, I should mention then that there are other things to look at. Penny Arcade, and their Child’s Play charity, is a good one. If you have the chance to go to a Con that is also a charity, I think that’s great – or if you get the chance to make one happen, even better!

There seems to be plenty of conversation out there, as I peak, so let me leave you with one I see out there:

http://m.slashdot.org/story/175071

Nobody has the answer on the best place to put your time or money, but if you find something you can really be a part of, and help make it happen, then everybody can win. As geeks, I think one of our defining characteristics is getting passionate about things – so find a charity you’re passionate for, and make sure to give them some time and support!

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4 responses to “Geeks and Charity

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