Dozens of Parker Poe attorneys and staff fanned out across the Carolinas and Georgia on March 15 to serve the communities they call home. They partnered with nonprofits and clients to prepare meals, sort books, organize classroom materials, tend gardens, and support the homeless, children in need, and victims of domestic violence.
It was a day to give back, as Parker Poe hosted its Community Service Day across all seven of the cities where the firm has offices. About 170 Parker Poe attorneys, staff, and clients took part, volunteering a total of more than 400 hours in a single day. They served 12 nonprofit and service organizations to help raise awareness about each organization's mission and to provide support for the programs of each partnering organization.
In Atlanta, the firm partnered with Page Turners Make Great Learners and Super Bowl champion Malcolm Mitchell, a University of Georgia grad, on a “Rally for Reading” with Atlanta public schools in which volunteers read to more than 600 students. Together with Page Turners Make Great Learners, Parker Poe helped raise more than $8,000 to put 2,000 books in the hands of deserving students at three Atlanta Title I elementary schools.
“There is no better use of our time than to spend it with children,” said Andrew Cooper of UPS, who joined Parker Poe in Atlanta.
In Charleston, Parker Poe attorneys and staff categorized, weighed, and boxed food items to be distributed by Lowcountry Food Bank. They also served breakfast at One80 Place, which works to prevent and end homelessness.
“The Lowcountry Food Bank counts on corporate volunteers to help ensure that we can deliver food to our neighbors who struggle with food insecurity,” said Kathryn Douglas, Lowcountry Food Bank’s chief development officer. “Parker Poe demonstrates this commitment of helping our community fight hunger. We express our heartfelt thanks and celebrate their investment in giving back.”
“I joined Parker Poe for its Community Service Day because I think it is incredibly important to give back to the communities we live in,” said Angie Quirk-Garvan of Blackbaud, who volunteered at One80 Place. “I applaud Parker Poe employees for giving their time and energy to making our world a better place and to the company for encouraging and supporting it.”
In Columbia, the firm volunteered with Transitions Homeless Shelter. Attorneys and staff served lunch and helped the organization paint its lobby.
“We are heartened and encouraged by Parker Poe’s service to Transitions, and in particular, its generous offer to freshen up our lobby with new paint,” said Cathy Cobbs, Transitions’ community outreach and events coordinator. “You never get another chance to make a first impression – and our lobby needs to project a warm and welcoming atmosphere to first-time and long-time clients alike. Having community partners like Parker Poe is a boost to the staff and the clients.”
The firm partnered in Greenville with Safe Harbor, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. Volunteers assisted with indoor painting and outdoor yard work at the shelter.
“Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of the women and children at Safe Harbor,” said Lisa Nalley, the organization’s volunteer coordinator. “We are thankful for Parker Poe and its willingness to give back to our community by volunteering at Safe Harbor.”
Helping with a fresh coat of paint was a theme in South Carolina, as the firm also painted at Hope Center for Children in Spartanburg. In addition, attorneys and staff patched and sanded walls at the center, which provides services for abused and neglected children.
In North Carolina, Parker Poe partnered with three organizations in Charlotte and three organizations in Raleigh. One of the nonprofits in Charlotte was Friendship Trays, where volunteers prepared and packaged meals.
“We deliver more than 700 meals daily to residents of Charlotte who are unable to prepare or obtain a healthy meal for themselves and have no one to do it for them,” said Lani Lawrence, assistant director of Friendship Trays. “The volunteers from Parker Poe were a mission-critical component of the work we do.”
In addition, attorneys and staff in Charlotte packed boxes of school supplies at Classroom Central, which serves nearly 130,000 students and their teachers in high-poverty schools.
“Classroom Central is grateful to corporate groups such as Parker Poe for their support of our community’s teachers and students in need,” said Karen Calder, executive director of Classroom Central. “Not only does this partnership engage Parker Poe employees in assisting with the hands-on work that enables our organization to facilitate our programs, it also exposes them to the need in our community: giving them a broader perspective as well as an opportunity to make an immediate and lasting impact.”
Parker Poe volunteers in Charlotte also went to Promising Pages. They sorted books to be donated to low-income students and wrote fun cards encouraging kids to read.
"Most of the students we serve have never experienced book ownership or had books of their own at home,” said Caitlyn Bergmann, operations coordinator for Promising Pages. “Without the help of volunteers, achieving our mission of shrinking the Charlotte ‘book desert’ and instilling a lifelong love of reading for these students would not be possible. Thank you, Parker Poe, for your believing in the power of a book!"
Mark Casner of Providence Anesthesiology Associates joined Parker Poe at Promising Pages. “We volunteer all the time at Promising Pages – anytime you can give two hours of your time to make a kid smile, it’s worth it,” Mark said.
In Raleigh, attorneys and staff fanned out to three more organizations. They weeded and mulched in the garden of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
They sorted, tagged, and organized clothing donations for Dress for Success, which empowers women with professional development tools and attire. And they cleaned, organized, and moved furniture at The Green Chair Project, an organization that helps people in the Triangle recovering from homelessness, crisis, or disaster.
“We are so excited to partner with Parker Poe on volunteer projects,” said Karen Johnson, The Green Chair Project’s marketing and corporate engagement manager. “We had a great day with them, and their group was fun, productive, and made a big difference in our donation center.”
It all added up to a full day of community service across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Parker Poe is proud to support nonprofits throughout its geographic footprint: It’s part of the firm’s commitment to seeking a better future for our communities, our clients, and each other.