Wow, what an amazing experience our first do_action_mtl hackathon has been!
A little background, being a digital agency that serves non-profits we wanted to give back to our local community and all those folks doing good who might not have a budget to hire a team of professionals. This is when Sasha found out about do_action, a new program spearheaded by the WordPress Foundation that connects local WordPress and non-profit communities. Essentially, in a matter of one day, a team of professionals will build a website for a participating non-profit organization. Not too shabby, eh?
Up until this year, do_action events were only taking place in Cape Town. In 2017, Johannesburg, Beirut, and Montreal joined in. Looking at 2018, it Bristol, Pune, and Zurich will follow suit.
We decided to start things off with 3-5 participating non-profits and sent out a call for folks to apply in mid-June. The final organizations we chose to work with this year serve a wide range of community needs. In the end, all 4 organizations got new websites. Two of the teams couldn’t quite finish up the content in one day and committed to seeing these projects through after the hackathon (dev sites are linked to below).
Our first participant is an organization offering support to youth and alumni from all child protection placements, including but not limited to foster homes, group homes and a range of residential centres. They did have a website before but they love their new and improved home on the web!
Our second participant is a creative agency that creates art and culture projects (most notably a festival called Montreal Swing Riot). Social Art Beat has been around for a number of years but has never gotten around to creating a proper website for themselves. They did have a simple splash page and we’re glad to be able to help these lovely folks showcase all the great work they do.
Our third participant is a very new organization with deep community roots. Those of you who live in our fair city have no doubt enjoyed a delicious Chez Boris donut. Well, the cafe had to close earlier this year but the workers organized themselves into a co-op and are planning on continuing to serve not only delicious donuts but also affordable and ethically sourced foods while creating a community and arts space. Previously, the co-op had just a Facebook page and we’re thrilled to have helped to create an online space for their community efforts.
Our final participant is a Montreal rescue organization that helps to find forever homes for abandoned cats and dogs. Abandoned pets are a huge issue in our city especially around the big moving day in July. Believe it or not, some folks just leave their pet behind once their boxes are packed, some pets get forgotten, others run away in the bustle of trucks and movers. All this organization had was a Facebook page so we’re thrilled to be able to give them an online home.
Of course, we couldn’t do this without the support of a few amazing organizations. Thanks to all of these folks for helping us make the first ever do_action_mtl a great success!
Leading up to our do_action_mtl hackathon the organizing team did quite a bit of work from graphic work to start creating our unique brand to the nitty-gritty details like securing a venue, catering, hosting, creating teams of professionals to do the actual work on the day of the hackathon and, of course, getting them and the participating organizations ready.
Huge thank you to these magical folks who put in time on evenings and weekends to make this event a reality!
Thanks and until next year!
Thanks to everyone who was a part of this year’s event and the support of the Montreal WordPress Community. It was an amazing experience to meet so many like-minded, generous folks and we can’t wait to do it again next year! In the meantime, feel free to follow do_action_mtl on: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates and news.
— do_action_mtl (@doactionmtl) October 14, 2017