February 2, 2018

Site donated by Iowa-based integrated marketing firm Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc. as follow-up to Des Moines dsmHack event

DES MOINES, IA – The board of directors, staff and volunteers of Camp Fire Heart of Iowa are excited to announce the organization has launched a new, fully-redesigned website. The new site features many upgrades throughout, including cleaner user experience, current layout and easier management for the staff. The website will continue to provide news and information about their activities and services to current and future campers. There is also an easy “Donate” area on the site to be involved by providing funding or supplies to the non-profit.

The idea for this website overhaul first came about in the fall of 2016, when Camp Hantesa Assistant Director Owen Ballard noticed a post on Facebook about a group offering free technology assistance and services for non-profit entities.

We saw the advertisement for the dskHack event and thought it was too good to be true. We immediately thought about how big of a difference a new website would make in the way families learn about us and sign up for our programs so we decided to submit an application!

Volunteers from all over Iowa, consisting of web coding experts, applications software developers, graphic designers, project managers, and more, gathered for the 48 hour event in early March of 2018. Each non-profit group presented a “pitch” to the volunteers, telling of their needs, wants and hopes for what the assistance received at the event might lead to. Volunteers selected which non-profit they would like to work with and began work right away, spending the next 48 hours developing tools and solutions at no cost for the organizations.

As the 48 hours wrapped up, the volunteers working to assist Camp Fire Heart of Iowa with their website saw that it would not be possible to totally complete the website during that time. Each individual did all he or she could do finish as much as possible and a presentation was made to the entire group of event attendees on progress and next steps. Team Camp Fire’s next steps were apparent: some post-hackathon development would be necessary.

Following the dsmHack event, a few volunteers stayed in touch, working remotely from one another (distributed all across Iowa, in fact) to lay out a plan. It became clear that the best plan of action would be for Hill Productions & Media Group (HPMG) to “take the reins”, so to speak, and complete the site. It might be noted that HPMG became involved because two team members, Sarah Howk and Diana Upton-Hill, had attended the hackathon as volunteers and worked on the project since its inception. VP and Senior Project Manager of HPMG shares about the decision to move forward with the website, even after the 48-hour event was over:

Sarah and I were truly touched by the enthusiasm and passion of the Camp Fire Heart of Iowa team members during the event. We knew we couldn’t just leave them with a half-finished product, and really wanted to provide a website that would serve them well for years to come. It wasn’t difficult for me to convince the rest of our [HPMG] team that donating our services to complete the website was a great idea. Everyone was on board.

The website is now live at www.campfireiowa.org and can be viewed all over the world. Check out the site to see camp offerings, news & upcoming events, photos, staff bios and make a donation to the organization.

Camp Fire Heart of Iowa is a recognized leader in providing programs for more than 6000 youth every year whenever they are out of school. Camp Fire shines in its commitment to inclusion, welcoming every kind of kid and family from every walk of life.