Shields Legal Celebrates a Decade of Community Engagement
April 1, 2024
By Katherine D. Hoke
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Shields Legal is dedicated to investing our very best selves in the communities we serve. We’ve proudly supported numerous charitable causes, and year-by-year, we continue to build a formidable culture of good corporate citizenship.

Back in 2014, Shields joined Entrepreneurs for North Texas (EFNT), a program affiliated with Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). EFNT is a network of approximately 100 member companies, consisting of small to mid-size businesses, private equity investors, venture capitalists and professional service providers, that share a commitment to giving back to the neighborhoods and communities in which we live and work. EFNT operates as a type of out-sourced corporate philanthropy department by arranging “plug-n-play” volunteer opportunities for the employees of its member companies.

EFNT’s signature volunteer event is its annual Freedom Day, held on September 11th in honor of the lives that were lost and forever changed as a result of the tragic events of 9/11. Hundreds of employees of EFNT’s member companies spread out across North Texas to volunteer their time, energy and talents in serving our communities. For Shields Legal’s first Freedom Day project back in 2014, our team cleaned, painted, and made minor repairs to a home for rehabilitating veterans.

In 2017, EFNT rebranded as Communities Foundation of Texas for Business (CFT4B). Shields Legal became a Cornerstone Sponsor of CFT4B as a testament to our organization’s belief in their mission to bring together like-minded companies that value charitable giving and community engagement.

This year, Shields Legal marks ten years of community engagement through our affiliation with CFT4B. Our attorneys and legal staffers have volunteered their time, organized supply drives and collected donations for numerous local nonprofits. These include Minnie’s Food Pantry, Reading Partners, Heart House Dallas, Hunger Busters, Hope Supply Co., the North Texas Food Bank, Frisco Family Services, and Bonton Farms. We’ve also cleaned out the Trinity River, made countless sandwiches and packed hygiene kits for shelters. We have collected and distributed jars of peanut butter, cans of black-eyed peas, boxes of instant mashed potatoes and a boatload of school supplies. We have donated gift cards, toys and gardening tools.  We have forged meaningful relationships with like-minded businesses and local nonprofits every step of the way.          

April 1st ushers in National Volunteer Month. Shields Legal is encouraging all employees to get out of the office this April, give back, and make an impact.  We invite our colleagues, clients, families, friends, and other like-minded businesses to join us at our next giving-back event. To learn more, please contact Katherine D. Hoke, Managing Partner.

Freedom Day 2014

Our very first Freedom Day project was painting and repairing a group home for veterans. There were quite a few Type A personalities in the house that day, but we still managed to get the project done on time!

Kathy Hoke won EFNT’s Engagement Captain of the Year award.

Doing the Mashed Potato

Shields Legal collected 1,000 boxes of instant mashed potatoes to stock the shelves at  Minnie’s Food Pantry.  Many of the firm’s clients joined our effort.

We also collected classroom supplies for Project Transformation.

Minnie’s Food Pantry

In addition to our famous mashed potato drive, the Shields team also collected food donations at our Annual Open House for Minnie’s Thanksgiving Food Giveaway.

North Star Award

In 2015, Shields Legal received EFNT’s North Star Award in recognition of significant contributions made to the community by a member company.

Down by the River

For our Freedom Day 2015 project, we headed to Trinity Sleepy Hollow for a clean up project. We bonded moving dirt with Kevin Margolis and the team from SFMG Wealth Advisors. We never forget why we serve on Freedom Day.

Serving with Heart House

For Freedom Day 2016, we brought our families along for a painting project at Heart  House Dallas. During our Annual Open House, we collected gift cards for the families served by Heart House. We were back at Heart House for Freedom Day 2018, and invited colleagues in financial services to join us.

North Texas Food Bank

The Shields Legal team served at the North Texas Food Bank for Freedom Day 2017.  Once again, we brought our families to serve with us. Encouraging the next generation to serve with open hearts is a big part of our mission.

We ran a food drive in August 2020, collecting jars of peanut butter and cans of tuna fish. On Freedom Day 2020, we masked up and worked a socially distanced shift at NTFB, packing meal boxes for the many families in our community that faced food insecurity during the pandemic.

Hope in a Box

In 2017, we collected hygiene items and packed hygiene kits for Hope Supply Co.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Bonton Farms in South Dallas started with a simple garden planted on a condemned city lot. Over the years, the garden was tended with care and grew into a 40-acre urban farm with an on-site market and café that provides nourishing food to the neighborhood residents, meaningful employment, and even temporary housing.

On Freedom Day 2021, Shields Legal helped Bonton Farms realize its vision of transforming its origin garden into a research garden for growing herbs and plants with natural health benefits for a community that lacks health care. 

Our team collected and donated the gardening tools we used that day, including wheel barrows, shovels, hoes, and a new picnic table. After our shift, we treated all the volunteers to lunch at the Bonton Farms Market Café. 

Serving During the Pandemic

Freedom Day 2022 was spent packing meal kits for the 9/11 Day Meal Pack Dallas.  This was the last formal Freedom Day event sponsored by CFT4B.

Jordan McCarroll attended Career Day at Cedar Hill ISD to spark interest in legal career opportunities. 

Busting Hunger at Hunger Busters

Shields has volunteered many times at Hunger Busters since 2014, including for Freedom Day 2019.

In early 2024, we held a friendly sandwich making competition with the team from Lennox International.  The winners were … all the DISD children served by Hunger Busters!

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