Giving Back to Toronto – #hohoto
December 19, 2008
Starting out as a single Twitter message, this rapidly turned into a discussion that turned into a planning committee that turned into one of the biggest third-party fund-raisers for the Daily Bread food bank of 2008.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the committee that pulled the whole thing together, and I can tell you that watching this event snowball into what it ended up as: the must-attend holiday party for the Toronto tech community that pulled in $25,000 for the Daily Bread when the dust had settled and the donations were counted.
It’s a fantastic story: over a three-week span a group of near-strangers, communicating at first solely by Twitter, used free resources on the web (email, wikis, blogs), as well as their own resources and connections to plan the event, find all the resources (like a space), and rope in dozens of sponsors big and small across the entire Toronto technology community. In the end we sold out all 600 tickets in only 9 days, generated a thousand planning emails (my Inbox is sighing with relief that it’s all over), and acquired over a thousand pounds of food at the party.
And when we needed to ship a thousand pounds of food from the party to the Daily Bread, who stepped up to help us? THE ARMY. Yup, the 48th Highlanders showed up with a truck and some willing folks to load up and deliver food just where it was needed.
When you have the connections to get the Army out to help you, you know you’re doing something right.
Obviously FreshBooks was thrilled to be able to sponsor this event, and a whole pile of FreshBookers were in attendance:
As you can see, a good time was had by all.
As one of the organizers of the event, it means a lot to me to be able to thank FreshBooks, the other sponsors, and everyone who donated time, energy, food and money to make HoHoTO the huge success it was.
And in case you like your stories told with motion pictures, here is an awesome video recap of #hohoto: