VMUG Cares is a program that VMUG HQ is working to gain more traction with. The purpose is to help in local & remote communities. This year my wife Heather & I decided it was our time to give back. We are working on a charity project to collect 4000 black backpacks for delivery to school children in Jamaica. We have partnered with the Issa Trust Foundation that supports children & families in Jamaica.
We have also included both VMware & VMUG in our efforts. But we also need your help! Do you have a conference backpack clogging up the coat closet? We want it! Don’t have any backpacks to give you say, but still want to help?
We appreciate you and know that our IT friends will join with us in this great cause! 4,000 backpacks is a lot to ask, but I know we can do it!
Our Story (by Heather Hickey):
Earlier this year, Nigel and I made a once in a lifetime trip to Jamaica, or so we thought. You see, with four kids (one in college, one graduating high school and one with some special needs), it took us two years to be able to be able to save and find the time to take a week away from everything. Nigel and I figured that we would celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, have a fabulous time, and then wait ANOTHER ten years to be able to have a vacation like that. Because work, kids, and college come first, right?!
Well, it wasn’t a once in a lifetime trip at all. It was a LIFE CHANGING trip. In that week away from work, kids, stress, and the daily chaos of life, we found that WE are important. Our marriage is important. Our mental well being is important. We were able to put down the ever ringing phones, turn away from the email, and simply relax and enjoy the amazing place we stayed. It absolutely opened our eyes that we needed to find that ever important work/life balance. Now, we are not saying that we will run off to some fancy schmancy resort every few months and get away from it all, but we have really focused on the things that are important to us, and making some life changes to support what we took away from that amazing vacation.
So, you are probably saying to yourself… get to the point, Heather. How does Jamaica and my IT swag have anything to do with each other? Well, Nigel and I realized we need to give back. Our family is blessed. Yes, we struggle like every family in middle America, but we are blessed and it’s time to give back to those in need. This is where YOU come in. We need your black backpacks you have laying around from IT conferences. Don’t kid yourself, you and I both know you have a million of them! They say EMC, VeeamON, VMworld, SpiceWorld, Cisco Live, etc on them and most likely you’re not wearing all 5 at once. This year alone, Nigel and I have collected no less then six of these backpacks and they are currently collecting dust in my hall closet.
What are you going to do with my IT black backpack you ask? Well, Nigel and I are working in conjunction with the Issa Trust Foundation to collect 4,000 (yes, that number is correct) black new or gently used black backpacks for the children in Jamaica. The backpacks will be distributed to the children of the employees of the Couples Resorts (which is where we stayed and highly recommend. Hit us up on Twitter it you want more info on their fabulous resorts!). Jamaica is a very beautiful, but very poor island. These kids need our help.
See. Easy. We get backpacks for kids in need, and you get to tidy up your closet. WIN, WIN!!