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December giving-back efforts highlight year-round community involvement by New Relic's Portland office

COURTESY: NEW RELIC - Employees in New Relic's Portland office pose for a picture after helping Portland Parks and Recreation clean up some of the city's parks, part of the company's committment to helping the community year round,

While some Portland-area businesses focus on one primary giving back effort during the holiday season, some companies prefer to give their employees a variety of opportunities to help others.

Landing square in the latter category is the Portland office of New Relic, an observability platform built to help companies create better software.

The local office kicked off a month of giving back with a Giving Tuesday effort at the beginning of December. The company provided a match of up to $5,000 to money that employees donated to various nonprofit groups.

"It was a cool way to kick off the giving season," Erin Dietrich, New Relic's director of corporate social responsibility, told the Business Tribune.

The company followed up that effort with a $3,000 match for donations received by PDX Women in Tech through Give!Guide, a holiday campaign organized by Willamette Week that allows people to support Portland-area nonprofits.

New Relic's efforts to boost community organizations aren't limited to the financial realm, however. The company's Portland office in the Big Pink tower, right below City Grill, is a generous space with some of the best views in the city. To share that asset, New Relic often offers the space for after-hours events for nonprofit groups.

"Renting a restaurant and paying for catering can be a huge hurdle in the budget for a small nonprofit," Dietrich said. "(New Relic) providing that really helps. They just have to send out the invites and help plan some activities."

This year, two organizations took New Relic up on the offer to host holiday celebrations. MESA, a pre-college academic program that equips under-represented students with skills in math, technology, engineering and science, held a holiday party for approximately 75 of its teachers and students. YouthBuild, a nonprofit that provides low-income young adults with education, counseling and job skills, celebrated its faculty.

New Relic rounded out its holiday giving this year by also providing employees with the opportunity to donate items for a Toys for Tots drive, Dietrich said.

The company's commitment to helping others isn't limited to December, however. Year-round involvement has included events such as participating in Saturday Academy, helping the city clean up Portland's parks, and welcoming MESA students to New Relic's offices to see how employees do their jobs.

"At New Relic, this is the kind of stuff we're committed to doing year-round," Dietrich said.

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