The holiday season is finally here (though based on some of my neighbors' decorations its actually been here for several weeks now) and for most of us this means it is now time to think about giving and receiving gifts.
Maybe you have some cool new technology gadget that you're hoping to get from a loved one. Or perhaps you'll be heading out to the mall yourself to purchase some presents for the important people in your life.
But while exchanging presents for the holidays between family and friends is a key part of the holidays, there are other ways that many of us can get into the spirit of the holidays, do something good for someone else, and actually still engage in the classic holiday practice of giving and getting. And oh yeah, it will involve one of the most innovative and talked about pieces of technologies launched this year.
How could you do this?
Well one idea for those who love technology and want to also help spread the benefits of technology is to participate in the One Laptop Per Child project's Give One Get One program. The way this program works is that you pay $399 to receive a brand new XO laptop (which has been called by some, OK me, the most innovative laptop seen in years), and along with getting an XO, presumably for a child in your life, you will also be paying for a second XO laptop that will be sent to a child in a developing country.
So along with doing something that will help a young person in the world learn and get ahead by putting a powerful computing system in their hands, you'll also get a chance to see a really cool piece of technology arrive at your door. And participants in the program will be able to claim a charitable deduction or their taxes in the amount of the donated laptop (approximately $200).
And for those interested in donating XO laptops but not interested in getting one for themselves, the OLPC also has a direct giving program that lets people pay for laptops to be given to children in developing nations.
In order to get information on both the Give One Get One program and the XO giving program, go to laptopgiving.org.
The OLPC's Give One Get One Program was originally scheduled to end on November 26, but because of overwhelming interest the program has been extended until December 31st.
Those interested in the program should take a look at the terms of the program and realize that they are not purchasing a Dell system with lots of support and warranty protections. Outside of a thirty day return window, the XO will be essentially delivered as is and support will be up to you.
But despite this limitation the OLPC's Give One Get One program looks like a worthwhile effort for technology lovers. As the old saying goes, it is better to give than to receive. But if you can do both and maybe make the world a better place, it sounds like a win win proposition for holidays to me.