Community is more than just a group of individuals that come together to socialize. Community is a group of individuals with similar ambitions and a desire to achieve a common goal.  When these entities gather and decide to take action, it can be a powerful force for shaping a better future.

One community in Addison, Texas came together recently at the annual “Big Design” or as it’s known around these parts… the ‘Big D’.  Big D was originally formed by Texas technologists and usability professionals as a collaboration between 3 prominent user groups and several driven individuals. This event primarily showcases the most modern technologies and how we interact with them. These same community leaders came together to step it up even further and help one of their own, and that inspired this blog post.

This group of people has more than just talented and ambitious individuals; they are using the platform of Big D to contribute to a cause higher than themselves.  Contributing to help people they’ve never met, because of a common interest or they know some of the same people.  One of those people would likely tell you just how meaningful and powerful this community’s actions have been.

Molly Holzschlag, author, advocate, and community member in need.

Meet Molly.

Brian Sullivan and his cohorts are currently on a quest to raise money for Molly Holzschlag. Molly is anything but your average workaday technologist.  She is a prolific author with 30 titles penned with her name and is a respected open web advocate.  She understands her beliefs, shares them with others, and actively speaks out in support of them.  Without even knowing her, there’s nothing not to love about a person who expends that much energy educating people and fighting for causes.

Molly was hit hard last year with an incapacitating liver disorder. While this is devastating within itself, it is nowhere close to the end of the burden that has been thrown in her path to recovery. Molly has to undergo chemo-therapy as well as strict care and dietary regiments to continue fighting. Her treatments alone were reportedly close to $2,800 a month and COBRA is an extra $1000… that’s an expensive war to wage.  And so much at stake.  Especially if your means of earning have been overridden by the time and energy it must take to undergo the care she needs.

Molly is a fighter, but someone who so actively seeks to enhance the lives of others should not have to fight alone. The ‘Big D’ has raised $68,000 (out of 75K) dollars for Molly to get the help she needs and let her know, that no matter how hard things are, she is not alone.

This is exactly the kind of community that we are proud to support and there are some at Paladin that have done so personally.  But this blog is not to ask for money, but to simply just to give acknowledgement to those that deserve to be acknowledged for their kindness and noble action.

Here is a list of the organizers that contribute to the Big D, and we’d like them all to know that we appreciate them for building a community that cares and takes action to support it’s fellow members:

Brian Sullivan
Lara Becker
Lorie Whitaker
Angie Luu
Keith Anderson
Adam Polansky
J. Shuh

This blog post was not to solicit donations… but if you do feel inspired to donate, we certainly won’t stop you! You can find Molly’s GoFundMe page here: