Two of the core values at CloudApp are No Egos and Collaboration. As a company that helps people collaborate each day you can imagine it would be foundational for us internally as well. The question we asked ourselves in 2019 is how can we expand outside of our workplace, outside of our customer base, and really help make a difference locally and globally?
We decided it would start with being active in our communities and donating time and money to foundations close to our heart.
More often than not, charitable giving starts with some kind of personal affiliation, story, or background. Our CEO Scott had recently gone through the process of becoming a foster parent, and one of the things he noticed was how few possessions each foster child had. In many cases, foster kids truly have the essentials, if you can even call them that: 1) a black plastic Hefty garbage bag to carry their things around, 2) their clothes, and 3) a personal item -- maybe a doll or a toy truck. Foster children are frequently moved from home to home, never feeling settled, struggling for personal affection and love, and especially around the holidays -- don’t get to feel the magic of belonging, or the excitement of gift giving.
And we as a team at CloudApp wanted to help. During our offsite in February before the world changed. we called up Utah Foster Care, and asked how we could help. They mentioned that more than anything they’d love to have a few additional bikes for their kids.
There is nothing more freeing to a kid than getting a bike. It brings a whole new level of independence and joy. You can go anywhere, and you have control. We were thrilled by the opportunity to contribute and to bring joy to these kids lives. It was also a wonderful team building opportunity, because we could literally build these bikes altogether, and then share them with someone else. Not too dissimilar to CloudApp -- record a video, and share it. As a core team building experience for our company during our offsite, we created teams of people and set out to build the bikes.
It was full of fun, laughter, and it was a great opportunity to bring our normally globally distributed team altogether to get a chance to see everyone, and come together with the gorgeous Utah backdrop.
The drop off was the real payoff of this whole exercise. Utah Foster Care was able to arrange for a few of the kids who were receiving the bikes to be there to meet us. We wish we could share the pictures, because it was a really emotional moment worth far more than the money and time invested.
While we did quite a few fun team building exercises and experiences, this was by far the most talked about part of our offsite. It can be easy in the tech community to forget to spend time making the world around you a better place. We try to do that the best we can in both our product and how it can help with the remote work shift as well as with how our company tries to leave something better than we found it.
Other ways we have helped this year
Food drive - a lot of families and individuals have been affected in a big way this year and we wanted to create a way to help during the Winter season. We decided to do a food drive for our small Utah office. People could bring things by the office and then they were gathered up and donated to our local food bank.
Content and product - When everything started shifting in March, our company immediately put focus on ways we could help the community ease into newly remote work life. We created guides, had webinars, added product features, all with the focus of improving the transition.
Holiday company gift - In lieu of a company gift to our employees this year we decided as a company to donate to the Everyone On charity. We love that this organization helps provide kids who are going to virtual school access to wifi if they aren’t able to get it at home. We felt this would be the best use of the impact we could have monetarily during this crazy time.