Today, there’s a new breed of philanthropy on the rise that reimagines charitable giving. And instead of the age old way of donating dollars and collecting tax receipts, companies like Capital One Canada are giving Canadians the opportunity to showcase and grow their skills in the wake of a good cause.
Earlier this month, Capital One hosted its very first Hackathon, named Gift the Code. The event, which took place at Toronto’s rising innovation hub, BrainStation, brought 141 developers, designers, and UI/UX artists together for 40 hours of continuous coding. Together and hosted by Marc Saltzman, volunteers lent their time and talents to six Toronto-based charities to help build solutions for their tech-based problems, creating unique results such as apps, chat bots, and website designs.
One of the most notable innovations from Gift the Code is a hidden digital footprint for Women’s Habitat. The chat system allows women in crisis to connect with volunteers and find aid, all while helping to reduce the fear of being discovered by their abuser. Another is a platform that digitizes patient feedback and progress for children with disabilities, helping to better share the information with researchers and doctors at Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, Holland Bloorview.
But most importantly, the solutions created by 24 teams within the 40 hours aren’t just on hold for the charities that participated in Gift the Code. Each solution is available on public code repositories for continued development and will be made available at the Capital One Hackathon Github account.
It’s safe to say that the results from Capital One Canada’s initiative were nothing less than spectacular. Not only did over 141 bright individuals get to flex their brain muscles and show off their skills in a fun and creative way, but organizations and communities across the nation have the opportunity to use those solutions to better themselves.
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