Charity Year Round

Charitable giving isn’t just for disaster response, tax time, and the holidays. With the summer in full swing, a new school year fast approaching, April 15 a distant memory, and the holiday season months away, charity volunteering and giving might not be a priority for many Americans. Yet charitable organizations have year round needs and events.

To help connect Americans with charity opportunities in their local area, www.CharityDrives.org  has developed a not-for-profit community driven website. This advertising-free site enables individuals and organizations nationwide to post, search and filter information on and about charity drives within their local area.

High school senior Michael Klenner of Orange, California, who collects goods for his local Salvation Army, notes,

“The internet has become central to my generation, from Myspace to CharityDrives.org, I’m happy that there are free easy-to-use tools to market charitable efforts to thousands in my area.”

Originally developed by concept development firm Aedeas Group, in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the search-powered website fills the absence of a central online location for volunteers, and individuals to find local places to donate goods.

Chris Seta, partner at the firm, remembers, “I felt frustrated as I watched the havoc caused by Katrina. Even more frustrating was the lack of immediate Internet resources to locate nearby charity sites. I had no idea where to give and what to give.” Realizing the lack of online resources, the Aedeas Group quickly mobilized a team of developers to build a resource to fill this void.

Gaining national attention through viral marketing,www.CharityDrive.org ‘s easy-to-use interface enabled local organizers to market their charity drives and donors to find local sites to drop off goods.

“Aside from helping the community,” states Robert Patterson, partner at the firm, “the project also became a playground for us to implement some new Web 2.0 technologies, and we were one of the first community-driven sites to utilize the Google Maps API and dynamic geocoding to maximize the user experience.”

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, organizers from Los Angeles to Des Moines to Boston utilized the site to promote local drives, collecting toiletries, canned food, clothing, and other goods for the relief effort. In recent months, the site has been expanded to include literature on how to organize a drive, links to charitable causes, forums for discussion, and success stories for inspiration.

If you are looking for a family project, need to complete service hours, or want to make a difference in our local DC area community, visit http://www.charitydrives.org .

The Aedeas Group is a San Francisco-based consulting and concept development firm specializing in originating and cultivating innovative ideas from inspiration to marketplace. For more information, visit http://www.aedeas.com.

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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