2014 has been another year of growth for SendGrid. We have seen growth in our email volume, growth in our company size, and growth in our commitment to giving back to the community. Whether it’s through diversity initiatives or through our new Accelerate.EDU program, we’ve been focusing a lot on enriching our tech, startup, and local communities, and our team members as well! Each year, we encourage our now 250+ full time employees to use one full working day as a “community day.” For these days, employees are able to donate their time for a cause that’s close to their heart or one that’s shared by their fellow team members. Just recently, we had 3 groups in our Denver/Boulder and Orange County offices participate. One group worked with Habitat for Humanity in Denver, another at Habitat for Humanity in Orange County, and the last helped plant trees at Jackie Robinson Park in Denver. In total, we had 22 people participate, which is a total of 176 hours that we gave back to our communities in one day! Lessons Learned We asked a few of our participants to let us know what the community day meant to them. Here’s what they had to say: “[The day was] gratifying. It was easy to see everything that we were able to accomplish. And we can always go back to the park and see the fruits of our labor.” –Joe Gerlach “It was tons of fun. It was hard work, but very rewarding, and getting to spend time with co-workers outside, working in the dirt was a really fun change of pace!” –Ben Golden “It was a good experience, the message of the day was that what we were building was “our home” not just any home. That meant that while we were working, we didn’t cut corners to get the job done. And I suppose it was funny that an entire team of software engineers were masking the upstairs of a single house for hours.” –Robert Acosta “I really enjoyed the experience. It was great working with my team on a community-based activity outside of the office that directly benefited the great Denver community. I learned my team was great at planting trees and that our good teamwork extends to projects outside of email.” –Peter Evans We’re happy to see that not only did our team efforts make a direct impact on the organizations we volunteered for, but also on our team members who did the volunteering. The hope is that these efforts make a lasting impression on our greater communities and on SendGrid’s internal community as well. We’ve found that working together outside on community projects translates into better cross-functional teamwork and enhanced communication back in the office too. We really appreciated the opportunity to work with Denver Parks and Habitat for Humanity and are always looking for other organizations within our local communities to partner with. If you have any ideas for other organizations to work with, or similar stories to tell, please share them with us on Twitter @sendgrid and @sendgridjobs.