Makerspaces, like any other facility or business, can be struck with disaster. Something like a flood or a fire can totally wipe out all of the available tools and leave the space completely unable to function. Sadly, since most makerspaces operate on a very thin margin, or even simply on donations, this also leaves them in a position where they are unable to rebuild by themselves. Trying to quickly outfit a makerspace from scratch in order to support your existing community can be nearly impossible, especially if the local community was hit just as hard.
As readers of Make:, you may be wondering if there is a way to help after these disasters. Luckily, platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have turned out to be the perfect way to get help from the global maker community for local recovery.
If you want to help makers recover in the wake of disaster, you should probably keep your eyes on crowdfunding sites regularly, but especially after major events like hurricanes. Right now there are at least two makerspaces that are attempting to recover after they experienced major loss. They could use your assistance. There are probably more out there as well.
The Zone, a makerspace in Cairo, caught fire three weeks ago and unfortunately all the tools were destroyed. This is an important local hub where students can gain hands-on experience, and where the maker community can gather. They’ve launched an Indiegogo to ask for donations to help rebuild the space.
Hurricane Irma hit a lot of people hard. Treasure Coast Makerspace is located in Port Saint Lucie, and had to shut their doors and place all of their equipment in storage. They’ve launched a Kickstarter to ask for help getting back on their feet.
These may be the only two that I was able to find on crowdfunding sites, but you may locate more on local channels. Feel free to let us know about more in the comments.