Recently some colleagues and I at Atlassian’s Amsterdam office got to thinking about how privileged we are to have some of the best local food in our very own kitchen. Not just that…it’s free of cost! We feel very blessed for this, and although we can’t stop boasting about it to our family and friends, there’s always a feeling in the back of our minds that not everyone is as lucky as we are…

  • Not everyone gets to go to school
  • Not everyone is able to have food 3 times in a day
  • Not everyone has a cozy office to work

The idea

We all agreed: let’s do something. But we didn’t know where to start. We talked and talked, and finally came up with a brilliant idea (lightbulb).

Since a great perk of being in Atlassian is the free food sponsored by the company…What if we pledged a week of our own food and used the money that would’ve been spent by Atlassian and donate it to Room to Read and have a lot of people benefit from it?

A quick poll around the office showed that everyone was more than keen to participate. So we started planning, and declared the week starting 1 September, 2014 the week of “Hunger Games” (smile). We realized it would be a challenge. Most of us are pretty addicted to the fresh bread on the kitchen table every morning, the full fridge…and those desserts! But these thoughts did not distract us, and we made up for the missing food by doing our own cooking! This turned out to be an unforeseen bonus of our idea. Right from the start, everyone in the office pitched in and made sure there was still food to eat. We were all amazed. Rather than discovering a chance to clean up a now-empty fridge, it was still full! Plus, we ate very healthy & homemade food.

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Now that “Hunger Games” week is over, we have great memories of the amazing food we had. A true—and unexpected—expression of teamwork that showed how joining hands and working towards a common goal had additional benefits. A lot of us also donated in cash by putting money in the donation box.

The results

The money our office saved, plus the cash donations lots of us made, came to almost 1500 euros! And since the Atlassian Foundation always matches any donation that comes from its employees, our 1500 euros instantly became 3000 euros.

We truly hope it will bring smiles to the many lives it will touch…and maybe change forever!

The best thing was, after the week was over, the Amsterdam office pledged to do “Hunger Games” every quarter every year. Talk about win-win!

Take the hunger games challenge!

If we can do it, so can you. Try some “Hunger Games” at your office! And if you have more creative ideas for us to try, feel free to share them with us. We are always up for a another challenge.

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