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If there’s one group that’s responsible for the existence of webOS to this day, it’s WebOS Internals. The tireless homebrew work by this group is done entirely by volunteers, and though coding only takes time, there are still plenty of costs associated with their work. Serving up patches, kernels, and apps and getting devices for development costs money, and that just doesn’t grow on trees. WebOS Internals has depended upon the donations of users through its whole existence, and the webOS community has always come through for them.

Over the past week, members of the PreCentral community have organized a “web-a-thon” for WebOS Internals that in just eight days has managed to rake in more than $7,000 for the open-source homebrew group. In a post in the forum, webOS Internals lead Rod Whitby explained what the donations will be used for:

Donations to WebOS Internals are used to pay for server hardware (HP helped significantly with that, but we have more than one server), replacement server parts, domain and hosting costs (OSUOSL helps a great deal with that), and other project expenses.

The main project expense is devices for our core developers to use for development and testing of the WebOS Internals applications, patches and kernels that you see in Preware.

Some of our developers have been able to obtain TouchPads both before and during recent events. We still need to purchase some more so that we can go further into examining the hardware of the device and looking for things like an internal HDMI port.

We also want to start development of kernels and testing of apps and patches for the Pre 3, and at the moment we need to import them from the UK at a cost of $500 each plus shipping.

Things have been moving along quickly in the donation space without this blog post (the whole of last fall’s donation drive raised more than $8,700), but we’re going to kick this donation drive in the pants starting right now: PreCentral is donating $1,000 to WebOS Internals as part of the 2011 web-a-thon!

If you have taken advantage of the work of WebOS Internals (Preware, patches, overclocking, Save/Restore, meta-doctor, et al) and other outstanding homebrew developers like Jason Robitaille (WebOS Quick Install, Internalz, and a slew of patches), you should seriously consider a donation. Heck, even if you don’t and are running a stock webOS device, you should look into throwing a few dollars towards WebOS Internals – without them, webOS wouldn’t be around today.

To make a donation, head over to the WebOS Internals site support page to deposit your funds, and then go ahead and post in the web-a-thon forum thread with your donation amount. Even if it’s just a dollar or two, every little bit helps!