Atlassian is known for a number of cool initiatives, such as Foundation time — 5 days per year to work for a charity of choice — and ShipIt Day, originally for developers, a 24 hour period to be creative and come up with something new.

Here in Atlassian’s youngest office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, we don’t have any developers. But we care about our community and we’re pretty creative, too 🙂

Recently, we met up with a local charity we worked with before, the food bank for Amsterdam South. These guys all work on voluntary basis, including their very charismatic leader Marius Singels, feeding some 120 families in the area who cannot make ends meet, and teaching them how to (re)gain a place in society. They don’t only have to count on subsidies and donations to feed their customers which is hard enough, but also the location sometimes raises eyebrows. Amsterdam South happens to be traditionally seen as the richest part of the city, many people don’t realise that here too are people who can no longer provide their families with meals without help, be it because they’ve been ill, lost their jobs or businesses, etc.

In May, we painted their shed to make their place look a lot brighter, and when we brainstormed about what we could do that would make a lot of positive impact for them, Marius mentioned that he dreamt of having his own website. A website that can attract sponsors, volunteers, but also tell people about what they do and how people qualify for help. But why, of course we can build a website! It does take a while though, to plan, design and fill in content…unless we challenge ourselves to do it in a day. And that, dear reader, is how the first ever Foundation ShipIt Day was born.

After some inevitable prep work the day before, on Thursday, August 11 9AM all Atlassians in the office gathered together with the food bank guys to build that website, a promotional flyer, a twitter account and much more. Did we make it? Why yes, we did! 13,5 hours later, at 10:30PM, the last guys left the building, safe in the knowledge that www.voedselbankadamzuid.nl went live!

What’s more…there’s a video of it, too! Watch it here:

It was hard work, but very rewarding and we all had a tremendous amount of fun doing this. Thanks, too, to our partners and colleagues in other offices who helped us prepare for the day. Hope you will be inspired to give back to your community and host a Foundation ShipIt day of your own! If you do, be sure to let us know how it went.

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