Hackers for Charity was founded by Johnny Long, a professional hacker by trade, author by brute force, public speaker, “pirate by birth” and “ninja by training”. He travelled to Uganda in 2007 after his wife Jen was profoundly affected by a mission trip there the year before. During his first two-week trip, Johnny’s eyes were opened to how the “rest of the world lived”. From the Twitter version of the story: “Her pictures. Africans. Orphans. Ridiculous poverty. Filth. Huge smiles. Laughter. Happy kids?!? Happy about what? It ate at me, haunted me.” Johnny found that his (unlikely) skills could literally save lives when he leveraged them for more than personal gain. Realizing that others in the community might be interested in lending their skills to help others in need, Johnny founded Hackers For Charity in 2007 with it’s controversial tagline and T-shirt logo, “I hack charities”.
Eventually, Johnny and Jen felt God’s distinct calling to go to Uganda. Johnny walked away from his career and the Longs sold or donated their belongings, left behind their home (which is headed to foreclosure) and with very little spending money, took a leap of faith and relocated to Uganda as a family.
Over time, it became clear that they were called to do three distinct things: act as a support organization to non-profits working in Uganda, provide technology and skills training to Ugandans and non-profit staff supporting them, and provide a platform for hackers and technologists to get involved in life-changing work all over the globe.
The Long family is still serving in Uganda, funded solely by small donations from individual donors and supporters, and Hackers for Charity continues to grow.
The ‘Volunteer Network’
We employ volunteer hackers and technologists through our Volunteer Network and engage their skills in short projects designed to help charities that can not afford traditional technical resources. Our industry experts vet all the work to guarantee a high-quality product, and volunteers are rewarded with glowing references from our industry-recognized subject matter experts. With each project, our volunteers move one step closer to that dream job, and a charity is brought one step closer to its technical goals. We’ve designed, built and hosted web sites, set up blogs, programmed custom web applications, conducted code reviews, performed security assessments and more, all through our volunteer’s efforts. We’ve personally witnessed how one person can have a profound impact on the world. By giving of their skills, time and talent our volunteers are profoundly impacting the world, one “hacker” at a time.