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I hadn’t heard of Gift The Code until recently but I’m glad that it does exist as it would certainly help my charity of choice, a youth development program revolving around a six-session curriculum, where boardsports become a vehicle for empowerment. It’s the time I choose to gift, when possible and would love for more people to be aware of how good it is to give back.

Now in its third year, Gift the Code brings together hundreds of tech wizards to brainstorm and build solutions that help advance the missions of its charity partners. Put on by Capital One the initiative is to help bridge the digital gap charities are facing and to give these organizations a technology boost. The reality is that there is a growing tech gap within the nonprofit sector, with 74% of Canadian charities citing that this gap is threatening the long-term success of their organization. Gift the Code is taking meaningful action by connecting participating organizations with a pool of highly qualified and talented developers, designers and UX/UI artists, showcasing the many possibilities for charities to leverage technology for good.

While at the mid-November weekend-long summit in Toronto held at the Globe and Mail Centre, the coding sprint hosted over 200 participants and six worthwhile charities including: Camp Quality (a camp that provides empowering experiences for children living with cancer), The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, The Movember Foundation, Kids Help Phone, Toronto Cat Rescue, and The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. During the 48-hour timeframe, small teams of 4-8 members developed solutions to help drive efficiencies and create positive change in the communities. All code created during the hackathon is available open-source on public code repositories to provide other charities with the possibility to leverage and further develop the solutions. The fitting hashtag for the weekend was #Usedigitalforgood, in case you wanted to discover more and see some behind-the-scenes social action.

Truth be told, even if most of us are living where we choose to navigate our lives through mobile and desktop devices, we should also be aware that we can always lift a finger to give a helping hand. And Gift The Code is a great example of that helpful finger-tapping.


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