Indeed the Holiday Season is traditionally a season of giving, and being charitable to those who are less fortunate. Although giving back should be all year-round, the end of the year, coupled with the holiday spirit, (and maybe last minute tax-deductions :-) always rouses folks to be generous. Nonetheless, giving back is a wonderful trait, no matter what time of the year.
For example, I was very proud to be a contributing author (and tech editor) of the recently published SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Vol 2. I am honored to be published among the great MVP community, and this awesome collection of techical writings. All of the authors contributed their hard work to a worthy charitable cause, known as Operation Smile. That means that the all proceeds of the books purchased by you, get donated to this noble charity. This is one great example of the SQL Family giving back.
So, theme of this blog, is to propagate and pollenate the very thing that glues us together in the SQL Server Community, and that is what has become intimately known as the #SQLFamily. (A great concept was born, it now has its own special hashtag.) It all started with a typical Meme Monday memorandum from Thomas LaRock, aka @SQLRockstar, who asked bloggers to write about what the term “SQL Family” meant to them. Helped along and tweeted about by @datachick, Karen Lopez, it seemed they have "Ignited" a fire that has spread to all corners of the SQL Globe. In fact, speaking of Ignite, Confio Software recently gave a product webinar, where every person who attended the demonstration they donated $5 to Community Food Share. Every dollar donated provides four meals. I was glad to be among the attendees. Details were carried here on LinkedIN. There's another example of SQL Family, and giving back.
There were so many overwhleming posts for the aforementioned meme among the SQL Server Community chaps, that an entire blog page was dedicated to that collection of posts: SQLFamily Meme's. My own short SQLFamily meme, on what it means to me, was then published here on the PearlKnows blog.
Seemingly contagious, the giving did not stop there, and has been picked up by several notable SQL Server outlets, and vendors. The official Microsoft SQL Server Team impressed by the outpouring of support for this idea, noted it in one of it's blogs, Help the #SQLFamily Give Back, wanted to extend the spirit of giving to help recognize all of you who make the #SQLFamily amazing. Therefore the SQL Team is asking for you to submit your stories about ways someone in the #SQLFamily community has gone above and beyond to help you or another member of the community. They are running this request through the end-of-December 2011. You can submit your #SQLFamily stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your name and email address. You can read all the details in their Team Blog here.
Also, of worthy mention, is the company founded by Brian Knight, @briankinght, Pragmatic Works, makers of intelligent BI software solutions, and offer consulting services, launched their Pragmatic Works Foundation, a non-profit organization created to find passionate people who are interested in joining the technology field but cannot make the financial investments needed for training and hardware. In the spirit of #sqlgiving and in honor of those who have and are serving our country (USA), they are devoting their resources to helping veterans that are interested in transitioning to a new IT career. This is a most commendable objective, and truly, no pun intended, salute them, for this noble endeavor! Indeed, this is what #SQLFamily is all about.
Therefore, for the first 400 submissions*, the SQL Server team, at email@example.com will donate $50 per submission to the Pragmatic Works Foundation (*please read the Team Blog for clarification and disclaimers)
The SQL Server Team has even expressed an interest to do it again next year, for charitable causes, and celebrate the launch of SQL Server 2012.
And, it doesn't just stop there, SQLFamily is the gift that keeps on giving, and inspiring others as well. Recently, SQL Server Pro Blogger, Brian Moran, also CSO of Linchpin People (which seeks to put people before profit), wrote his recent comments about the amazing community known as #SQLFamily. He acknowledges the altruism and awesomeness of The SQL Server Community: Giving to Those in Need. Brian sets out to encourage each other along and to raise awareness about issues that we can make a difference. For example, something as simple, that we in the first-world countries take for granted, as clean water, is a commodity that is not readily available in poor countries around the world. That in itself is ashame, and a blog for another day. But, it has inspired Mike Walsh, of Straight Path IT Solutions, to write and advocate how we can help provide clean drinking water (#sqlwater) in his blog, A Global Crisis - With a Solution?
It is indeed a great honor to be among such charitable and altruistic individuals, that make up this great "thing of ours" (no, not Cosa Nostra - as in the GodFather :-), but the one word of the ties that bind us, #SQLFamily!
Best wishes for a wonderful and happy holiday season!