This past October, I took part in an event that brought awesome people together to do awesome things. It was a full hackathon weekend for people to work together to do good for their community. The idea is simple and effective: a number of organizations with a good cause bring forth their idea that requires a solution in the tech space, and then a whole bunch of good people willing to work on these ideas come together to bring them to fruition.
Why? Not for competition, not for a prize or any recognition, not because they were told to, and not because they were getting paid to be there. This was a group of people coming together for the greater good. They took time out of their lives in order to band together with other likeminded individuals and give back to the community; To spread a little kindness and generosity out of the goodness of their hearts in a time where the world sees more than its share of darkness. (Also, there was food and coffee, and who can say no to that?)
So what happened? The weekend consisted of 6 groups of people working on 6 amazing projects. One of the projects, the one I chose to be a part of, was for the non-profit Cuts For Kids Foundation. They give underprivileged youth free haircuts through community events, but needed a solution to provide this service in participating barbershops and hair salons, allowing kids to walk in and out feeling good about their new 'do.
I can’t speak from personal experience, but I’m sure walking away from a new cut feels amazingly refreshing, like the first time you wear a new pair of shoes. A group of us worked on the project for the weekend and were able to accomplish great results by the end of it, as were the other 5 hard working groups. This was my very first hackathon experience and it was very positive. I saw many people working together, and not just those in the tech field. Everybody has something to offer: a perspective, a skill set, an idea, and more.
Feel inspired? To learn more, check out the Random Hacks of Kindness site and follow them on Twitter.