GiveCamp 2014: Perspective from a first time volunteer

Brian Oliver
Senior Advanced Developer

I arrived downtown Grand Rapids on Friday evening after a long week of work. GiveCamp was about to start, and I was starting to rethink my decision to volunteer. My eyes were heavy and I had never done anything like this before.

As I walked up to the registration table, I could feel the energy. The whole building was buzzing with techno babble and design speak. I soon forgot about how tired I had been.

C2's Brian Oliver checking into GiveCamp 2014

(Some of my C2 teammates volunteering at GiveCamp 2014)

My team was assigned to work with the Kent County Parks Foundation. I knew that Kent County had parks, but I had no idea there was a nonprofit foundation working on behalf of all Kent County residents to maintain and expand the park system. All told, there were around 15 nonprofits that received development help at Grand Rapids GiveCamp this year.

Kent County Parks Foundation specifically needed help establishing a social media presence, a streamlined online donation process, and a Google Maps integration. I focused most of my time on the Google Maps integration.

The site already listed all of the Kent County parks feature’s and allowed filtering based on those features. My job was to take these features and hook into the filter action and build a map using the Google Maps API v3 and jQuery. To do this, I drew an outline of Kent County and used a custom map marker to identify the individual parks on the map. Clicking a map marker would show you the features for that particular park. Changing the filters would redraw the map with the new subset of parks.

Check out the Google Map integration:

All in all, attending Grand Rapids GiveCamp was an amazing experience. My team was able to serve our community and give back to a great organization using our professional talents. Looking forward to GiveCamp 2015!

Take a peek at some pictures of C2 at GiveCamp:

GiveCamp even caught some local press from WoodTV 8:

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