**Caveat: Keep reading because this blog DOES have a technology twist!!
First, I work for a great organization. They provide one additional PAID day off per year dubbed a, "civic day", which is basically a paid vacation day you can use for any volunteer experience you choose - from volunteering at your church to spending a day helping out at your child's school. Well, this weekend I chose to spend my volunteer day doing something I do every year - volunteering at Camp Okizu, a place for children and families affected by childhood cancer.
This camp is WAY up in the hills past Oroville (for those of you who know where that is). At night, open your tent to see a field FULL of roaming deer the size of a VW Bug. And deer are not the top of the food chain. The bottom line is that, while the camp has electricity and running water, it isn't a place for TV's and X-Boxes. It is a place when children and their families can come to escape the hardships of the realities of their world for a weekend free of charge to them. Everything is provided - food, drinks, housing, showers. During the day us counselors take the kids and just play. Play for plays sake. No worries in the world for the 3 days dedicated to play.
Now organizations like this do not survive easily. They rely on gracious donations and funding that is geared to help programs like these survive because they provide crucial services. The weekend goes on, we sing, we make s'mores, we build campfires - we even weave friendship bracelets and fish in the little pond down the dirt walkway.
What happens at the end of the weekend as we look back on the fun times had and the memories shared? A shout out to technology! Mercedes-Benz is giving back to the community via a program they call 'Commuity Stars'. Their tagline, "Bright ideas deserve to shine. Help us find the best and the brightest", is the forefront to the $25,000 they are offering to the organization with the most votes! So we ended camp with a call to arms (of sorts) urging all families and volunteers to go to www.vote.okizu.org to help the organization win $25,000 they so rightfully deserve.
So if you are reading this, click the link. Go online and vote for Okizu (will take you to a FaceBook interface to vote). So get out there and make a difference using technology. Just one more example of how technology is making the world smaller.