Help Jamal Learn Coding

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, December 16. 2015 in ASF

OK, so my house is basically the official address for the Apache Software Foundation. If you check out the address for the ASF on various documents, as well as our D&B listing, it'll refer back to my old homestead. This is because back when we founded the ASF, out of the Apache Group, we needed to list some address on our records, and since I had basically just moved, my address seemed the most stable. And then, after serving initially as EVP and Secretary, those roles kind of cemented my address as the canon location for the ASF.

Over the years this has resulted in a variety of interesting situations, such as random people coming up to ask for job openings, taking pictures of "Apache HQ" and even numerous visits by the FBI as they investigate various web-related issues. But this also means that I receive a lot of postal mail directed to the ASF as well, and these are just as interesting. There are the numerous requests for help, letters demanding to know why this "Apache stuff" is on their devices and demands that we stop installing our "junk" on their computers, and the occasional "Thank You" letter from someone truly appreciative and what we do.

And very rarely, a letter which calls me to action.

I received such a letter this week.

The letter was from Jamal Reid, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas in Pennsylvania. While serving his time, he is trying to learn programming and the selection of books available to him are woefully out of date. He sees programming, and career as an Application Developer, as his ticket out from a criminal life. He wants to learn and he wants to be a viable candidate, with the necessary skills, for a job in programming once he completes his sentence. All he asks is that, if possible, if we could "donate a few books" to help.

Well, I already have a box of books ready to ship out. But I am reaching out to everyone who follows me, or also believes in the power of community within the Open Source eco-system, to also donate what books you can. During this time of year, one of the most cherished stories is A Christmas Carol, a tale of redemption. Let's share the potential of that redemption.

Let's #HelpJamal.

His address is in the letter linked to above, and I strongly encourage you to read it. I also include it here to make it even easier.

Jamal Reid
State Correctional Institution
1000 Follies Rd
Dallas, PA 18612



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