As most of you know I am very active in the development community and one piece of that is my involvement with the Midwest Give Camp organization. The Midwest Give Camp organization is a small group of dedicated community leaders that plan and carry out yearly Give Camps in the Midwest. This year I had the honor of organizing/leading the Midwest Give Camp. The event was held the weekend leading in to That Conference at the same venue. I wanted to share details on the charity that we worked with and what the Give Campers were able to provide for them.
For the 2012 installment of the Midwest Give Camp we worked with the charity Katharine’s Wish. Katharine’s Wish was founded by Katharine Rhoten of Eau Claire, WI. Katharine’s father Doug is also an active member of the developer community who runs the Chippewa Valley .NET User Group. Doug also happens to be a personal friend of mind.
While on the family’s first trip to Disney World in 2008 Katharine became seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital. The Rhoten family spent 3 long days in the hospital watching Katharine undergo numerous tests, most involving painful prods and pokes. Through all of those procedures Doug and his wife Kristin where amazed at the positive attitude Katharine was able to keep. This was due, in large part, to a small gesture of the hospital staff. Prior to any painful procedure, the hospital staff gave Katharine a small stuffed animal. This always put a smile on Katharine’s face and let her know that it may hurt for a bit but in the end everything was going to be alright. To get an idea of the number of procedures Katharine was subjected to during her stay at the hospital…Doug had to ship 2 boxes of stuffed animals back to WI J
The experience provided two major life-changing events for Katharine. The first was that she was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and the second that she vowed to “pay it forward” by doing everything she could do to make sure that children in the hospital have the same positive experience she had. Upon returning home Katharine got to work on making this happen by using her allowance, birthday money, and funds from a lucrative lemonade stand to purchase stuffed animals to donate to local hospitals that she donates each year, on the anniversary of her diagnosis, to local hospitals.
Katharine’s Wish has grown to now include multiple drop off locations where the community can drop off stuffed animals and books to be donated. In the five years since her diagnosis, Katharine, with the help of her younger brother Spencer, has donated thousands of stuffed animals and books to the hospitals in her community.
It was an honor to be able to use my skills, along with the skills of 12 other talented geeks, to provide Katharine with a platform to grow her cause. The result of our work is the official Katharine’s Wish web site. The site was coded in MVC 4/HTML5/Kendo UI on the front end and EF Code First/SQL on the back end.
I ask that you please check out http://www.KatharinesWish.org to learn more about this awesome girl and please consider donating to her cause.