The community takes action at the do_action charity hackathon

Written by Hugh Lashbrooke on June 29, 2015 Blog.

It’s no secret that I love the WordPress community. But when that community looks beyond itself and reaches out to less fortunate individuals, then I really get excited.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday, 20 June down in Cape Town, South Africa. As an organiser for the WordPress Cape Town community, I put together the second annual do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ ). Based on the results, I think it’s safe to say that the day was a huge success.

In the space of a mere eight hours, our team of 50 volunteers put together eight brand new websites for eight deserving charities. It’s a feat that makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this great community in Cape Town.

The Wildlife ACT Fund team hard at work
The Wildlife ACT Fund team hard at work

The volunteers all signed up in the months leading up to the event. Each team was comprised of six people, including one project manager, one designer, two developers, one content creator and one social media manager.

At the end of the eight hour day, each of the charities not only had brand new websites, but also had fully functional and integrated social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, plus mailing lists.

To make things even better, we had each team present their work to everyone else at the end of the day. While watching all of their incredible work being shown, I had a deep feeling of pride in our community and what everyone accomplished together. After the presentations, our esteemed panel of judges sat down with each site to decide which of them met the needs of the charity most effectively.

Ultimately the winner was FoodBank South Africa, whose site is not yet live as they are waiting on some final copy approvals.

The Code for Cape Town team presenting their day's work.
The Code for Cape Town team presenting their day’s work.

At the time of writing this, a few of the new websites are already live: The Academy for Adults with Autism, The Carpenter’s Shop, and Child Welfare Stellenbosch. It’s interesting to note that this is in fact the first website that Child Welfare Stellenbosch has ever had after 99 years of existence. Just another reason that this event excites me so much!

To get an idea of what was achieved on the day, here are a few before and after shots of some of the charities’ websites:

The Down Syndrome Inclusive Education Foundation
The Down Syndrome Inclusive Education Foundation
The Academy for Adults with Autism
The Academy for Adults with Autism
The Carpenter's Shop
The Carpenter’s Shop

For a closer view of how things went down on the day, check out the #doaction hashtag on Twitter for some tweets and photos.

A huge thanks to WooThemes and Obox for sponsoring the event, as well as xneelo for sponsoring the hosting for all of the sites — in fact, offering free hosting for life! Thanks are also due to WumDrop and Butler’s Pizza for keeping everyone well-nourished.

It was a hugely enjoyable day, made all the more exciting by the hard work and dedication shown by everyone involved. I can’t wait for the next one!


4 Responses

  1. Mohan
    June 30, 2015 at 7:58 am #


    Great move in building websites for charities. Food & child care(with education) are the two areas which we should give due importance.

    Is the food bank website approval done if so could you give the url?

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 30, 2015 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Mohan,

      I agree! Those areas are hugely important for us to engage in.

      The FoodBank website is not yet live still, but I will update this article once it is 🙂

  2. Mark
    July 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Where can one sign up to be notified about future events?