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Weekend hackathon gives local charities much needed IT help

More than 40 volunteers spent the sunny Wellington weekend holed up in a central city office working on IT projects for four lucky charities.

The so-called “hackathon”, is the third run by Charity-IT. Under the leadership of two of the Charity IT founders, Mel Bourke and Fairfax Westpac Woman of Influence award winner Althea Carbon; the hackathon enables cash-strapped charities access to IT expertise for free.

The charities helped this weekend were Able Pet Care, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kiwi Community Assistance and Nature Through Arts Collective.

The team of volunteers started from scratch with Nature Through Arts Collective giving them a complete web presence and online education, including a whole new website, social media tools and a fully designed logo.

The charities say this help is invaluable to their work and would cost more than they can afford if they had to pay.

‘The donation of pro-bono time and expertise for a charity is of immense value but is something we cannot purchase’ says Dave from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

As well as website refreshes and overhauls, Able Pet Care had an automated payroll system built for their disabled employees, Big Brothers Big Sisters now have an alumni sign up system for prospective donations and past volunteers, and Kiwi Community Assistance moved onto a more robust website back end.

The volunteers, including 6 students, also learned a lot from the experience.

‘As a student the weekend of work has been really motivating and collaborative, pushing me to learn and then do’ says Daphne.

The next hackathon will be held in Christchurch in May.

The Hackathon event was hosted at Servcorp and sponsored by Snapper, Psoda, and Hell Pizza.

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