A grassroots “hackathon” geared toward serving to the town climate the coronavirus lockdown matches volunteer ingenuity with wants which are prone to outlast the pandemic.
Created as an emergency weekendlong hackathon when the pandemic hit Central Ohio in mid-March, Can’t Cease Columbus has already outlived its supposed size by eight months—and it reveals no indicators of stopping.
Jordan Davis, director of Good Columbus for the Columbus Partnership, initially dreamed up the hackathon as a two-day brainstorming session to seek out secure methods to assist folks affected by the pandemic. Now, this system has grown to 50 ongoing initiatives—and Davis sees no finish in sight for the hassle.
“This actuality the place all of us needed to work at home pushed us to arrange otherwise, however I feel we’ve all the time wanted one thing like this, and I feel we in all probability all the time will,” says Davis, co-organizer of Can’t Cease Columbus with Derek DeHart.
She admits, although, that she by no means dreamed the undertaking would final this lengthy. “This was not my imaginative and prescient in any respect,” Davis says. “I believed it could be a weekend factor the place we might have a concentrated period of time with a number of power and perhaps get a couple of initiatives out of it. … I’m simply so amazed on the group to evolve it on this method. I feel it’s only a testomony to this metropolis and the empathy folks have.”
The initiatives initiated by means of the hassle deal with a variety of wants. Curbside Live shows enable folks to ship musicians to carry out for a beloved one who’s isolating at house; Columbus Emotional Well being gives psychological well being sources; and Columbus Remembers helps folks with funeral planning and grief at a time when in-person funerals will be harmful. There’s additionally a smartphone app created for the Mid-Ohio Meals Collective to match customers with out there sources they qualify for, says Matt Habash, the meals financial institution’s president and CEO. The initiatives goal 12 affect areas, with about 700 volunteers.
Whereas the pandemic continues, Can’t Cease Columbus is increasing its mission to satisfy further wants. One undertaking, Come Collectively Columbus, brings collectively folks dedicated to racial justice and police reform; one other helped folks get to the polls to vote safely.
Steve Flaherty is a volunteer concerned from the start. Flaherty, who owns the Yumii Kettle Corn meals truck along with his spouse, Rachel, manages Columbus Truckside, a Can’t Cease Columbus undertaking to assist meals vehicles get some enterprise to exchange income misplaced when summer time festivals had been canceled. Flaherty says the initiatives Can’t Cease Columbus has generated present the hassle can final past the pandemic.
“It has grown past itself. It really echoes the guts of Columbus and what Columbus means,” he says. “With the ability to come collectively and do one thing like this, it simply speaks to what Columbus stands for.”
Reprinted from Giving: A Information to Philanthropy 2021.