by Kathy Hoke
When Shields Legal Group (SLG) began partnering with CFT, it was the start of a mutually beneficial relationship. CFT provided the structure that our law firm needed to start giving back to the community. As Jim Shields, SLG’s founder and CEO remarked, “Our 15 employees had the heartfelt desire to volunteer, but we simply lacked the in-house resources to make it happen in a focused and meaningful way.”
In conjunction with joining CFT for Business and establishing the Shields Legal Group Charitable Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, SLG launched its IMPACT | 365 program in early 2014 as a means to challenge our employees to take intentional action to give back, 365 days a year. The program is focused on three primary objectives: (1) sustaining the environment through the firm’s Going Greener Office Policy; (2) lending a helping hand through volunteer service; and (3) giving back through financial gifts.
CFT has been with us each step of the way, through program launch and beyond. The Plug ‘N Play calendar offers a variety of community involvement events, making it easy for SLG’s employees to find something of interest throughout the year. Engagement Captain round table discussions provide a regular forum for exchanging ideas on how to ignite employee enthusiasm for volunteerism. CEO events featured by CFT afford a unique opportunity to learn from and be inspired by exceptional entrepreneurs.
With CFT as shepherd, the IMPACT | 365 program has provided a platform for SLG’s 15 employees to make a meaningful impact in our community. During SLG’s first year, employees invested more than 145 volunteer hours in Plug ‘N Plays and other community involvement events. Firm employees collected 1,000 boxes of instant mashed potatoes for a local food pantry and made online donations to their favorite charity as part of North Texas Giving Day. SLG supported CFT's annual Freedom Day event through a sponsorship, service on the steering committee, and sending a team of volunteers to help repair a VA transitional home. Kathy Hoke, the firm’s managing partner, was named 2014 Engagement Captain of the Year.
But the biggest impact of the first year has been found in unexpected places. The IMPACT | 365 program has nurtured a greater spirit of understanding and cooperation among SLG’s employees, boosting morale firm-wide. The program also has enhanced the firm’s relationship with its business clients by affording opportunities for firm and client employees at all levels to interact and connect in a positive way. And, most impactful of all, the program has brought out the big heart and giving spirit in each of our employees.
We are thankful and grateful to CFT for the guidance and support received during the past year, and we look forward to many more years of affiliation with CFT.