The Giving Tree Called DrupalCon
As a digital agency, we believe it’s important to remember the world that exists beyond our JIRA boards. We feel a genuine responsibility to always try to do something that can be of service to the greater good; especially when the opportunity to give a damn is so constant and pervasive.
Consequently, for DrupalCon Seattle, Kalamuna partnered with OneTree Planted and sponsored the planting of 450 trees in areas devastated by the recent California forest fires. These fires – comprised of 8,527 fires burning a total 1,893,913 acres – were practically in our backyards, and it broke our hearts to hear of the tragic loss and desolation around us.
The number of trees we sponsored was determined by engagements we solicited at our DrupalCon booth. Attendees were invited to plant a sticker on our wall. Every sticker became an actual tree we sponsored. Participants who signed up for our newsletter funded the planting of another tree, and those who gave us a shout-out on social media sponsored yet another tree.
Many of the employees of Kalamuna come from backgrounds outside of tech where we have used the resources and skills at hand to contribute to the Occupy Movement, political art collectives, voter drives, a prisoner’s library project, among other things. It was in this spirit that we recognized that swag is inherently wasteful. Why not put that money towards something that is useful, and let that be the thing people remember about Kalamuna? If nothing else, we’ll have at least redirected our swag budget to a worthy cause, and funded some trees.
We find a lot of meaning in the conversations sparked by our conference booths. We love talking about our Drupal powers, but we also love learning non-Drupal things from the people we meet. For example, because our booth nodded towards activism, and leaned towards environmental issues, we learned that websites emit quantifiable carbon emissions, and that Microsoft has an admirable program to support employee giving.
We love our Drupal family, and it’s for this reason that we try to reignite the hashtag #Drupal4Good. We want to further the conversation around how Drupal can be a force for good. We’re heartened to know other agencies in the Drupalverse, like our friends at Last Call Media, also recalibrated their DrupalCon booth for charity, and we applaud Mediacurrent for their ongoing generosity. It's an ethos we hope continues to be contagious.
As Drupal agencies continue to grow, this trend towards giving is a natural philosophical extension for businesses making their livelihood with an open-source ecosystem in constant need of communal contributions. It’s embedded in our DNA and we’d love to see it expand. Kalamuna has donated thousands of dollars at each BADCamp and DruaplCon booth since 2017, and it feels like we're just getting started (stay tuned)!