A word from Doug – June 2018 – Giving Back to our Community

As I get older and Portland Internetworks has grown larger and more successful, our responsibility to give back to the Portland community that has nurtured and supported us for twenty-one years garners more and more of my attention. Since our founding, we’ve always supported a variety of not-for-profit organizations through in-kind donations, free Internet access, volunteer labor, and cash grants and contributions. However, we never really built a strategy around making our contributions count in any focused, meaningful way.

As I look around the Portland Metro area, I see a city that has changed dramatically during our time. Much is for the better, but in many ways Portland is now much more challenged, especially in providing basic needs such as food, shelter, and community health, but also in areas which budgetary pressures have reduced governmental support such as the arts, arts education, and community beautification.

We are incredibly grateful and appreciative of the support this community has givenus, and will reciprocate in 2018 and beyond by fulfilling our duty to give back to the communities in which we operate. Kicking off our efforts, we were recently matched with Zenger Farm, a working urban farm dedicated to educating young people about sustainable food production, environmental stewardship and supporting its underserved and low-income neighbors. We learned how our technical expertise and resources could help the Farm meet its goals and achieve its mission by our providing pro-bono full-service IT support plus computers and network equipment for a three-year grant period. In addition to providing technical leverage, Portland Internetworks will also “adopt” the Farm by providing volunteer labor in its fields and orchards, and by promoting Farm special events and efforts.

It is our hope that as Portland Internetworks grows, we will select an additional grantee each year to add to our stable of “adopted” not-for-profits and leverage our company success into community success delivered by these admirable organizations.

If your company has been fortunate enough to grow and thrive during these strong economic times, I hope that you will look at what you and your colleagues can do to give back to your communities. I found the book Smart Giving is Good Business inspirational and have written about it below. Also, we have included a spotlight article about Zenger Farm’s mission and people elsewhere in this newsletter. I hope that this month’s issue of the Internetworks News inspires you to make some time for those around you who are trying to make a positive difference.