After my somewhat dark post about being a Free Software maintainer, a very significant number of people got in touch and asked how can they help me, and GNOME, more actively than saying “keep up the good work, we love y’all”. And so I thought that maybe we are not advertising well enough the various ways to contribute to GNOME beyond actually getting involved with the daily activities of the project.
The potentially most effective way to help GNOME is by donating to the GNOME Foundation and spreading the word. GNOME Foundation has two donation programs: one-time donations, and Friend of GNOME.
Becoming a Friend of GNOME is my favorite. The Friends of GNOME donation program is a monthly subscription where you can select a community member. The selected member will send you a thank you post card. Did you know that I can be adopted as a hacker through Friends of GNOME? Not only me but various other great community members!
I’m happy to say that many Friends of GNOME adopted me already! Naturally, I’m supposed to send thank you postcards.
But I won’t.
I think our Friends should be properly rewarded for helping Free Software.
Brazil has a rich and dynamic culture, with lots of influences from Portugal, Spain, Italy, various african “countries” (thinking of Africa in terms of countries is somewhat wrong; countries were defined by europeans, and do not represent the cultural diversity of Africa) and Asia. And I love that we have wide range of artistic and cultural production that covers this diversity.
It happens that I have a long-time contact with the Okinawan community in Brazil, and know a local Brazilian/Okinawan artist that can create fantastic pieces blending those different cultures. You can check her work at @jay_ceramicas on Instagram (and you should, her work is absolutely fantastic). If you appreciate art, and her art in special, consider requesting her artwork!
I asked her to create different pieces for our Friends of GNOME.
The process started with defining the topic of the art that will be produced.
We agreed on representing simultaneously the Brazilian and the Okinawan culture, with the elements that intersect both. Our Friends deserve unique and handcrafted pieces, and that’s what we did.
After she finishing crafting those pieces, I started assembling the gift boxes. It all starts with finding a good box, and gathering the materials:
Next step is preparing the box. First, the essentials: it should feel GNOME, smell GNOME.
Since the box may travel across oceans, let’s ensure the safety of the arts.
Starting to look good!
But that’s not enough. Our Friends chose GNOME to help, so I think it’s safe to assume they would like to show they’re GNOME users. Or at least GNOME supporters. So good set of stickers is a great addition!
The gift box is looking even better now!
Having stickers is excellent, but I don’t want them to turn into a mess when our Friends receive their boxes.
At this point, the boxes look pretty much ready.
But they aren’t! It’s so important to express gratitude. I’m grateful for our Friends to have adopted me, and I want to tell them that.
And now we have something deliverable!
If you are a Friend of GNOME, and adopted me, check your mail box; you might find a surprise… I may have done more than what I wrote here 🙂
And that way, I feel like I’m properly rewarding those who take the next step and, even without the time or the knowledge or the energy to be involved with GNOME, still contribute to the future of the project and of Free Software.
Thanks for supporting Free Software and GNOME.
You are gold.