Colorado attorneys Kyle Bachus and Darin Schanker were two of the more than 1,100 trial lawyers who volunteered after the September 11th terrorist attacks to provide free legal services to any family who applied for help from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The client they helped is, to this day, a friend, and the experience of giving back inspired them to do more.
They continued to give and participate in causes locally and decided to formalize their giving in 2009 by creating the Bachus & Schanker Cares Foundation. In 2013 the foundation contributed more than $85,000 to 19 organizations. Since the 2009 launch of foundation, it has donated nearly $350,000 to local nonprofits.
Kyle Bachus addresses the crowd at an event sponsoring Mothers Against Drunk Driving
And beyond the money, is the time. The Bachus & Schanker attorneys and staff have given approximately 600 hours of their time to support nonprofits across Colorado in 2013 alone. Employees have done road races, packed toys, given out candy, built houses—among other things—to help the organizations and causes that have applied for help.
“There are so many reasons to interact with the community, make a connection, and show them that we care,” says Schanker.
He explains that while the financial support to the organizations is critical, it’s also important to figure out how to involve everyone on staff. To that end, employees at the firm can be on the Bachus & Schanker Cares Foundation board. It’s the board who reviews the various applications from community groups and organizations and decides where the money goes and in which projects to participate.
With their bright green T-shirts, Bachus & Schanker staff get to work!
They’ve sponsored everything from Boo at the Zoo, to food drives, to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to Dolls for Daughters, and the Brain Injury Foundation. If a former client has started a foundation or supports a particular cause, Bachus & Schanker will often fund it.
“The relationships that we have built with members of our community, and the privilege of helping others—it’s humbling and awesome,” says Schanker.
For 2014, Schanker estimates that they will start their budget of giving where they ended last year, at $85,000. But, he expects that number will be up around $100,000 by year’s end.
“When some other good causes apply for help, we increase our giving,” says Schanker.
He hopes that other firms that have not yet developed a community outreach or volunteer program will be inspired to start.
Staff select the charities and participate in fundraising events.
Posted on April 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm in Charitable Foundations, Community Outreach, General by kloiacono - RSS 2.0