$500,000 in Apps Donated to Charities at CODESTRONG's All-Night Hackathon
Overnight, ten teams of hackers, a.k.a. mobile developers, burned the midnight oil to deliver brand-new apps to ten charities, helping these worthy causes to accelerate their fundraising efforts by tapping into the power of mobile. Appcelerator professional services and engineers remained on site offering coaching, support, and troubleshooting from the event's 9 pm Sunday kick-off to its 9 am Monday wrap-up. Before you had your morning coffee, each charity had a working app worth over $50,000.
That's right: while you were sleeping, Silicon Valley mobile developers gave away over $500,000 in custom apps through this year's Codestrong Hack to Help.
The charities who received apps at this year's CODESTRONG Hack to Help are:
The Avril Lavigne Foundation: Award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne launched created her foundation in 2010. The Avril Lavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S. Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in support of children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities. The mission of the foundation is to: Respect the needs of all children and youth, no matter their circumstances, and encourage others to do the same; create the Opportunity for children and youth with serious illnesses or disabilities to follow their dreams; offer Choices so children and youth see they have many options in life and not just a single path defined by their circumstances; provide Knowledge about what is possible to children, youth and their families through new program ideas that The Avril Lavigne Foundation will support and help expand; and give kids and their families the Strength to face their daily challenges. The Avril Lavigne Foundation partners with leading charitable organizations to design and deliver programs, raise awareness and mobilize support for children and youth living with a serious illness or a disability. Current partners include Easter Seals, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis.
JobTrain, formerly OICW, is an educational and training institution that also offers career counseling and job placement services to its graduates. JobTrain helps its clients launch new careers and break out of the community’s existing cycle of poverty, low education levels, homelessness, drugs, crime, and prison. Through each student’s personal and professional growth, JobTrain is creating a new and positive model for other members of the community. Since JobTrain's founding, it has helped over 150,000 low-income individuals move toward a better life for themselves and their families.
MercyCorps' mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. As offered on its website, MercyCorps innovates in part by looking at their organization "as a culture of creative solutions designed to confront tough challenges. And we consider every team member a social entrepreneur." Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $2.5 billion in assistance to people in 114 nations. Their programs help turn the crises of natural disaster, conflict and poverty into opportunities by providing communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research aims to accelerate the discovery of a cure for Parkinson's disease as well as to improve therapies for patients living with the disease today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $297 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. It is the world's largest private funder of Parkinon's research.
Mona Foundation is a Seattle-based nonprofit development agency that supports communities in becoming agents of change in their own social and economic development by establishing long-term partnerships with locally based educational initiatives in the USA and around the world. The Mona Foundation's main objectives are to support providing quality education to all children, with a focus on raising the status of girls and women. The fundamental belief of the Mona Foundation is that everyone, irrespective of race, religion, social classes, or economic systems deserves an education. Also, the foundation believes that education is one of the main means of alleviating poverty and raising the status of women. The foundation has supported over 25 projects in more than 15 different countries since 1999. In 2012, the Mona Foundation will be reaching more than 40,000 children, women, and their families around the world.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is one of the nation’s most groundbreaking cancer research organizations. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. From the organization's website: "When the MMRF was founded in 1998, patients with multiple myeloma had little hope. There was very little research on the disease. The same drugs had been used for several decades, with no new innovations on the horizon. As a result, patients had a life expectancy of only 3 years. Since then, the MMRF’s urgent and revolutionary work with researchers, clinicians, and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries has sparked new hope for patients and dramatically changed the treatment landscape."
Mobile developer Ketan Majmudar of Spirit Quest is among those who stayed up through the night to author an app for the MMRF. When asked why he participates in hackathons -- and why in CODESTRONG's, specifically, Majmudar shared: "Hackathons are always great events in which to participate, learn, and share -- but doing something for charity to make something for an organization is such a worthy cause. I encourage all developers to think about participating in charitable hackathons to make a difference." The MMRF app was built on Titanium. Majmudar shares, "the experience we came away with is that simplicity can be very helpful when you're in a complex environment when developing apps. Always start with the simplest solution and build up from there." Great advice for future hackathons!
Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. To achieve this goal, Room to Read focuses on two high-impact areas: literacy and gender equality in education. Room to Read works in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children; as well, it supports girls as they complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond. Over six million children have benefitted from Room to Read’s programs over the past ten years.
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports everyday around the world. Through work in sports, health education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to over 4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 53,000 competitions throughout the year.
Stop Hunger Now is a Raleigh-based international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for 13 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. Stop Hunger Now created its meal packaging program in 2005. The program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of five years and transports quickly. Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country. The majority of Stop Hunger Now's meals supply school lunch programs. Due to the ease of assembly and transport, meals can be shipped to areas in crisis. This process for distribution, through school feeding programs in hunger-stricken regions, is seen as a practical means to end hunger. This week alone, almost 600,000 meals have been packed. To date, over 76 million meals have been packed and served in 77 countries.
The Wounded Warrior Project's vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. It is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. There are 23,607 WWP alumni alongside 1895 family members.
Keep checking the ThinkMobile blog for more information on the apps resulting from this hackathon as well as more information on the developers who so generously donated their time to these worthy causes.