Code For A Cause

The World Peace Through Technology Organization recently affiliated with a technology user group, the Chicago Drupal Meet Up Group (CDMUG), to help inspire community-building and world peace through advanced technological tools.

The Chicago Drupal Meet Up Group organized Drupal Camp Chicago's (DCC) educational and philanthropic activities. Drupal Camp Chicago was held October 24-25, 2008, with over 180 attendees. The program included the second Code for a Cause event.

Code for a Cause (C4aC) volunteers work in small teams on specific real-world applications, addressing identified needs within the non-profit community. Projects are led by CTC staff that have years of experience working on non-profit technology projects. C4aC creates innovative applications for non-profit organizations that would have difficulty funding such robust projects by themselves.

Code for a Cause is a Chicago Technology Cooperative (CTC) project that brings together volunteer web developers and designers to build sophisticated social web sites and applications for small non-profit organizations, using the Drupal content management system and other free and open source software.

Drupal is a leading open source content management system, which allows anyone to create and organize online communities with no programming expertise. In fact, the World Peace Through Technology Organization web site (peacetour.org) is built with Drupal.

During Drupal Camp Chicago, Code for a Cause volunteers built a prototype website for Skoolade.org, an online repository of educational resources for parents and teachers working with students with autism. The site allows users to upload, categorize, rate, and share autism resources.

The inaugural Code for a Cause event was held in conjunction with the 2008 Flourish Conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Code for a Cause Hack-a-thon was a two day coding sprint where Flourish attendees had the opportunity to contribute to small development projects to create applications for local non-profit organizations and community groups.

The event was extremely successful with approximately two dozen active participants and another 50-60 observers who visited the Hack-a-thon to learn more about the use of open source software in the non-profit/volunteer sector. The participants developed an online homeless shelter search for Chicago, a prototype website for a non-profit organization called Green World Campaign, an online survey management and reporting tool, and a screen scraping tool for website migrations.

The World Peace Through Technology Organization is excited to be working with the Chicago Drupal Meet Up Group and supporting Code for a Cause. We hope to bring some events to the west coast soon.