did_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ );

Written by Hugh Lashbrooke on August 25, 2014 Blog.

It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. It’s even more amazing what a group of nearly 50 dedicated, talented and passionate WordPress users can do when they get together to build 9 brand new websites for 9 different charities in 1 day.

The UPliftment ProgrammeThis past Saturday we played host to Cape Town’s (and the world’s) first do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ );. The event was conceived and organised by members of the WooTeam and the individuals working on the sites were all willing volunteers from within the local WordPress community. The charities were all present on the day and worked with their teams to make sure the sites turned out just the way they needed.

The day started with all the sites already having a basic WordPress installation setup (with a few useful plugins) along with a private GitHub repo to manage the code. This allowed the teams to hit the ground running and get started as soon into the day as possible. After the initial welcome, each charity briefed their team on what needed to be done and what they would like to achieve with their websites. From there on out, it was up to the teams to craft a site that met the needs of their charity – a task to which every single team delivered in spades.

Uhambo FoundationI was completely blown away by how well the teams connected and how dedicated they were to their tasks. Every single volunteer there was working passionately from start to finish and the results really do speak for themselves. Not only that, but most of the teams have said that they would like to continue working on the sites over the coming weeks to make sure they are just right for each charity.

To say that I am proud of our community is a massive understatement.

The results

Not all of the websites are live yet as the charities still need to add some content, but the ones that are already up and running are The Equinox Trust, Care Career Connection and Uhambo Foundation. As you can see the quality of work is astounding and the level of commitment to the task is incredible.

After each project manager presented their team’s work to everyone else, we had a panel of expert judges (including representatives from event sponsors xneelo, PayFast and Obox along with our very own Joel Bronkowski) establish a winner that was based on the site that met the charity’s needs most exactly. The victorious site was the one built for Feeding in Action, which is not yet live, but was altogether brilliant.

The esteemed judging panel
The esteemed judging panel busy with the task at hand

Here’s a neat video recap of the day:

What next?

As far as we know, this is the first event of its kind in any WordPress community around the world. It was such a success, that we are definitely going to be making this an annual event in the Cape Town community and we would love to see others replicating the idea in their areas. In the next few weeks we will be setting up a website to showcase what do_action is all about and to offer tools to help other people replicate the idea, so stay tuned for more.

Photos by Jon Meinking | ishotimages

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss getting this going in your community!

3 Responses

  1. terry
    August 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Please build a website for my charity

  2. Jacqueline du Plessis
    August 30, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    Great posts Hugh!
    This was such a great event & I’m so glad to have the opportunity to participate & volunteer in this way!

    Thanks so much to WooThemes & co. for organizing this event!

    Here’s to it being annual (or bi-annual? ;))