Why Volunteer for HTBox? Use Your Powers for Good!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Whether you want to explore new ideas or learn specific skills, sharing your time and expertise can save lives.

HTBox is a charity that supports disaster relief organizations with open source software and services. Here, we are developers, designers, testers, analysts, copywriters, program managers and industry professionals who want to contribute our unique skills into disaster relief aid. Humanitarian Toolbox strives to create software and programs for relief organizations that are ready in times of need; for example, volunteers may create apps that map the spread of disease or maintain software that optimizes the delivery of relief supplies.

Why do we emphasize open source software?

Open source software allows us to maintain our focus on sustainability. In fact, much of the software used in disaster relief is outdated or built in the haste of a current crisis. HTBox is committed to the routine development of all of our projects to keep them current and always improving.

Additionally, openly sourced software lifts barriers for contributors and users of our software. This makes it an ideal choice for volunteer developers looking to make a difference and the organizations that need help. Additionally, it allows anyone to access the software and take it for a spin.

How do you build the optimal program or app for the right folks?

Some of our projects are developed from scratch by working closely with a specific relief organization. In this case, HTBox gathers the requirements for the project from the relief organization, breaks it down into work items in GitHub, and then runs code-a-thons to get the software written with the generous help of our volunteers. This way developers can concentrate on development and work can continue remotely which allows volunteers to work wherever and whenever they like.

To view our repositories, visit our GitHub account here

Why is HTBox interested in preserving and maintaining older software?

During a crisis, software may be developed within a disaster relief organization. When the crisis is over, however, the individuals involved in creating it often move on; otherwise, the software languishes on a shelf. Instead of allowing valuable resources to deteriorate, HTBox takes on these projects to archive and maintain for future use.

How can I become a volunteer for Humanitarian Toolbox?

First, we recommend signing up for our mailing list so that we can keep you up to date with the latest.

Second, head over to GitHub and, take a look at our projects! If there are any items that you think you could contribute todo, go for it! Work items marked, “Up for GrabJump In,s” mean we’re looking for someone to get developing on it. There are many contributors to HTBox projects that work on their own time weekly by picking up work items from the repository and contributing new code.

Of course, If you're not a developer but still want to contribute to HTBox, oour volunteer base is not limited to developers! It takes many skills to build great software and we're always on the lookout for designers, testers, analysts, copywriters, program managers, project leaders and more.

If you want to volunteer but are unsure how your skills can be put to use, shoot us an e-mail at volunteer@htbox.org!As the software continues to improve, whenever new disasters strike and disaster relief organizations are able to go into the toolbox and pick up the software they need.

We believe your time is valuable – it can save a life.



Thank you for reading.


Gabrielle Greiner

Humanitarian Toolbox Volunteer