Today in Washington, DC, the great work being done by Keep Austin Fed will be highlighted at the White House in a presentation honoring 15 leaders and organizations from across the country as “civic hacking Champions of Change.” The White House Champions of Change program was created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Through this program, the White House highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and accomplishments positively impact our communities. Among the honorees is GivePulse, an Austin-based social network that matches people to causes and enables nonprofits and companies to manage volunteers, list events, and track service hours in one central community. We are proud to have worked with them as a case-study for how their management system can positively increase the reach of a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization.On June 1 and 2, Keep Austin Fed co-founder Randy Rosens attended the ATX Hack-a-Thon for Change at Saint Edwards University, part of the first-ever National Day of Civic Hacking. There, he presented attendees with the challenge of finding ways to use technology to help take Keep Austin Fed to the next level, enabling our organization to rescue more food from partner businesses and deliver healthy food to even more individuals throughout Austin.
We are incredibly grateful to the work of George Luc and James McGirr of GivePulse, who rose to the challenge. They saw a natural fit between the technology that they had recently developed and the complex problems that Keep Austin Fed’s dedicated volunteers are working to solve. George and James began by spearheading a new Keep Austin Fed website, and then they integrated a tracking system that will streamline the way our volunteers can connect with opportunities to help pick up and deliver food.
When fully implemented, the work of George, James, and GivePulse should streamline Keep Austin Fed’s tracking and management of both sides of the problem – the restaurants, grocery stores, and caterers with high-quality surplus food to donate, and the organizations in need of food for Austinites who do not have enough to eat. For our volunteers who give their time to help bridge this gap, the new systems will make it easier to find pickup and drop-off locations that fit their schedules and will eventually increase Keep Austin Fed’s capacity to serve our community.
We couldn’t be more proud that the White House has chosen to recognize how the technology behind GivePulse can benefit volunteerism in Austin generally and Keep Austin Fed specifically. The work that George and James donated to the Keep Austin Fed cause – as with the many hours dedicated by our amazing volunteers – is an example of what a community can accomplish when it works together to care for its most vulnerable citizens. To watch the Champions of Change event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 10:00 am ET today. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion yourself, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
An archive of the video stream can be found on YouTube: