The holiday season is a time to panic and have eggnog-fueled meltdowns relax with family, give gifts, and eat far too many carbs. It’s also traditionally been a time when charities see big bumps in donations. Giving even has its own day, “Giving Tuesday” to follow the weekend bounded by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are plenty of charities to give to, but if you use free and open-source software, why not give back to the projects that create those tools that you use without charge?

The phrase  “freedom isn’t free” is usually applied to the military, but it also applies to free software. After all, somebody is paying for the server that a project lives on. If a project offers a bug bounty, that money comes from somewhere. As community projects, open-source software relies on the community’s contributions (labor) and donations (money).

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