The Rapidian Home

How GiveCamp gives

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The GAAH Press Club visited GiveCamp. Here they write about their experience.
The GAAH Press Club visits GiveCamp

The GAAH Press Club visits GiveCamp /GAAH Press Club

Underwriting support from:

For this article, the Press Club members were asked to focus on planning what they were going to write prior to writing it. They first wrote an outline, and then put their article on paper.

Some of the GiveCamp volunteers that were interviewed were working on an attendance database for the Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center, which collaborates with the Cook Arts Center to facilitate the GAAH Press Club. 


Age 12

On October 27th, the people from the Press Club went to “The Factory” in downtown Grand Rapids to interview GiveCamp people. GiveCamp takes nonprofits and gives their time and their skills to them for a whole weekend.

Lots of people ask “What is GiveCamp?” GiveCamp is a whole weekend where people volunteer and donate their time to helping people with different things in their lives, like technological programs. One of the questions that one of the Press Club members asked is, “What kinds of software do you work on?” Doug Vanden Hoek, one of the people volunteering there, said that they work on a lot of different software for that particular event, but that the main kind that they do is websites. That’s why a lot of the nonprofits they’re helping that weekend need help with their websites so that people can find out more information about what they do, or donate money to them to help them with their missions.

There were about 115 people working there that day. They all use computers because all of those people have to do this pretty much with computers. Nobody gets paid because they only want to help out. That weekend in GiveCamp they were doing 18 projects. Last year they only had 13 projects. They pick their organizations by picking applications that are the best fit.

Like always, the Press Club had to move on to their next adventure. But GiveCamp people had to stay there and continue with donating their time at GiveCamp.

‘Til next time, Dulce L.

Age 11

It was October 27th, 2012 at The Factory in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, when The Press Club found out about GiveCamp. The Press Club also found out that they make websites and that they have 115 people working at GiveCamp. Some of the guys that work at GiveCamp are programmers. The Press Club was very excited.

But that’s not all! There is also no age limit to work at GiveCamp. There are also many GiveCamps (almost) all over the world. They are nonprofits too! So, technically they work 24 hours on the weekends and they donate the time.

Age 10

“Click, click, click.” The programmers were typing as fast as they could. On October 27th, the GAAH Press Club went to The Factory to go meet some programmers at GiveCamp. GiveCamp is an organization where programmers donate time to nonprofits. They have to stay up 24 hours to finish [their work for] the nonprofits! They have over 115 people help donate time at Givecamp. When the Press Club went they were working on 18 nonprofits’ projects.

These people actually donated their time by using their free time to make all this happen. They even want to do this because they just want to help people out. J. Tower from Givecamp said “So the thing I like about it is there are a lot of really cool organizations helping people with different things in their lives actually get help. Those people help other people.”

Givecamp is not actually like other programmers because Givecamp is more. It’s more about giving time away and not getting any money, so like there are programmers that volunteer. That is why Givecamp gives a lot.

Age 12

It was on the day October 27 when the Press Club went to go meet Givecamp. Press Club was actually going to meet two men, J. Tower and Doug Vanden Hoek at the Factory, downtown.

The Press Club arrived at The Factory. The building was very tall. The walls were made out of bricks. J. and Doug were waiting for the Press Club upstairs.

Press Club: How did you guys start?

Doug: My friend has said before, ‘Hey, why don’t you get together a group of people that will be willing to help out?’”

Press Club: What kinds of software do you do?

Doug: We work on many types of software, but mostly we do websites.

Press Club: How many nonprofits do you serve at a time?

J.: This weekend we’re doing 18 projects. Last year we did 13.

After that, the Press Club asked many questions that were off topic. The Press Club took pictures to remember that day, then left the building.


Age 11

On Saturday October 27th, 2012 Press Club went to GiveCamp. GiveCamp is located at The Factory in downtown Grand Rapids. The person who started GiveCamp is J. Tower and the other person is Doug VandenHoek.  J. Tower said, "The give part is we take a non-profit, like this one, and we give our time and our skills to them for a whole weekend."

Age 10

On October 27th, 2012 we went to GiveCamp at The Factory in downtown Grand Rapids. We went with the Press Club. We met people like J. Tower, Ross Hunter, and Doug VandenHoek.  There are 115 people working in that building but they do not get paid. They sometimes do stuff like make software in their free time. They make the software for non-profits. You can be any age to work there. They enjoy doing software in their free time. GiveCamp donates time to non-profits to help the community.

Age 11

Saturday October 27th, 2012 the Press Club went to GiveCamp.  A guy named J. Tower decided to help out people with their websites, helping them make one, and helping them improve their websites. GiveCamp is also worked by many people called programmers. These people give up their time to help out, they also work for two days, Saturday and Sunday. They even work during the night, they didn't even get any sleep at all! They have to work in a factory downtown in Grand Rapids. They also have GiveCamp in other states, and even countries! Someone in Press Club asked if they had it in Mexico. J. said no, but we could start one there.  

Age 11

On Saturday October 27th, 2012 Press Club went to The Factory in downtown Grand Rapids for GiveCamp. A bunch of programmers at weekend camp 24 hours a day, working on websites. They fill out Applications to help out with lots of websites that fit them best. 

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.