Allison Hemming is used to taking advantage of a negative situation and rallying a cause to support it. With her popular Pink Slip Parties she created a venue for those out of work to commiserate, drink and network. This week, she shifted gears and established, with the assistance of Webgrrls' NYC Chapter Leader Eileen Shulock, the SiliconAlleyCares.org Web site and benefit. When Eileen and she kept getting hundreds of email requests asking "how can I help?" they got together to build a site and organize volunteers. Eileen coined "Silicon Alley Cares" and the site aims to be a command central for Silicon Alley-ites who wish to volunteer. The site is a consortium of individuals, companies, and organizations committed to channeling the care and generosity of our industry and city into tangible effort that makes a difference.
Held on Wednesday, September 19th at Hush, the benefit's goal was to raise funds for the United Way's September 11th Fund. While at press time we don't know how much funds they raised, they have been busy coordinating volunteers. Thus far Eileen reports that "for the past eight days nonstop [she has] sent 70+ data entry and IT volunteers to various Red Cross projects." With an offer of 4,000 Webgrrls at their service, they began getting to work organizing shifts of 20 at a time around the clock. They've placed over 400 people thus far. Eileen also commented that "in the end, the Internet works for its original intended use, as I was able to rally a group of volunteers by email when nothing else was working... and there are so many tech people who want to help...It's a good thing. They have done wonders, those volunteers." For more information and to register to volunteer, please go to http://www.SiliconAlleyCares.org.