Scott Watermasysk came up with an excellent way for many of us to give back around the holidays this year. In short, it was “sell a gadget you’re not using anymore on ebay, and give the proceeds to a charity.”
This idea grew to have several bloggers (including Dave Donaldson) decide to donate their November and December advertising revenue. I am also participating in this challenge, and so here are my numbers for Nov. and Dec.
As an employee of Microsoft, I am fortunate that they will match any donations that I make. So, my $62.13 becomes $124.26 pretty quickly. Because I am relatively close, I’ve decided I’m going to make my donation to the OLPC movement. It will cost me an extra $35 (which Microsoft will match, of course.)
For those of you unfamiliar with it, OLPC stands for One Laptop Per Child. They have created a fully-accessible and self-sufficient laptop that can be created inexpensively. What it provides is far more valuable than the cost of the laptop. I’m going to be able to provide a child in a developing country with access to not only a computer, but the wealth of knowledge and information that the Internet provides.
We have started to take the Internet for granted. When you hear questions like “How did I get anywhere before mapping services?” or “How did I find movie times before the Internet?” you know we’re taking it for granted. But we also use it to research, connect, and learn. Without access to these resources, developing countries will always just be developing. My hope is that this donation will go a long way towards helping a student grow to his full potential, not just what his environment might allow.