It’s easy to get wrapped up in the consumerism of the holidays, but we all know there are a few extra bills in the fold to help support a couple of our favorite causes. That’s why we decided to look at some tech charities that can use your donations to help promote technology, education, and the betterment of society.
According to their site, Wikipedia’s staff of 175 serves nearly 500 million users and survives solely on donations. They don’t run ads and they don’t accept government funds, but we all know that nothing in the world is free. In order to keep the information written by this community of scientists, artists, mathematicians, historians, and other expert contributors completely free for everyone, we’ve got to pitch in a little if we can.
One Laptop per Child
OLPC’s mission is simple—they want to give less fortunate children all over the world their very own laptops. Technology is massively effective in helping children learn and also gives them access to the world around them which can promote all types of collaboration and shared experiences. The laptop itself is called the XO and is designed to be rugged enough to work in rough conditions and in remote areas. Each unit comes loaded with software to help children learn and connect with other kids all around the world.
Going to the hospital is frightening for a small child—especially when he or she has to stay for an extended period. That’s why having a few of the comforts from home can help put them at ease or even help distract them from pain they might be dealing with. That’s where Child’s Play comes in. Child’s Play is a game industry charity that brings toys and video games to hospitalized children. They receive cash donations which they use to purchase new game consoles, games, and peripherals for hospitals and therapy facilities and they also accept donations to fill gift wish lists put together by hospital staffs so that facilities around the nation can have entertainment for child-patients while they stay. Donate on their site here.
Benetech is a non-profit that creates applications that train and assist people with everything from defending human rights to improving global literacy all the way to protecting the environment. They hope to use technology (specifically free and open source technologies) to promote positive social change. Visit their site to learn more about their innovative software, to donate to their cause, or to get involved.
In Salt Lake, we have a station called KRCL that runs almost entirely on donations from listeners (you can listen online here if you’re curious). The station plays music from independent and local artists that otherwise wouldn’t hit the airwaves. It’s commercial free, community minded, and has an excellent array of volunteers and staff members who work hard to bring the best independent music the world has to offer, in addition to political talk radio segments. There might be a similar station in your area, so take a look online and find out. If you like what you hear, you might consider donating. Radio might be largely on the way out but the personality and music discovery available from caring DJs on your community radio station is second to none. Donate to your favorite local radio station so that we can continue hearing their careful selections and so that anybody with an FM transmitter can hear sounds from all over the nation and the world.