Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz get employees more involved in United Way through agency visits and stories of how support makes a difference

(From left) Paulette and Bob Weible from Search Dogs South speak with Baker-Donelson employees about the importance of their work to help locate lost or missing persons. Resting on the ground are highly-trained search dogs Nitro and Ivan. Search Dogs South covers a 250-mile area including Memphis and the Mid-South.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz is one of the nation’s top 75 largest law firms (73rd) and is the single largest firm in Memphis and the Mid-South. The firm knows about “big,” and it has a big desire to give back to our community.

The law firm has set a big goal of having 200 employees involved in its 5-week United Way campaign this year, representing 70% of its area employee base.

Deborrah Pugh leads the firm’s United Way volunteer campaign committee, bringing employees together to gain a better understanding of what United Way partner agencies do in our community. The downtown firm has hosted visits this month from United Way network partner agencies  including Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Search Dogs South, Hope House, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Literacy of the Mid-South and Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

“We are trying to get more people involved in the campaign this year,” said Esther Williams, Campaign Communications Manager with Baker Donelson. “Our managing shareholder helped set up a United Way employee committee because he wanted more participation. Our campaign is about getting employees excited and giving back to the community.”

“We’re having some United Way agencies come in and talk to the different groups here,” Williams said. “This is the first time we have actually had agencies come out to visit,” she added.

The firm is very community-involved and participates in a variety of causes and fundraisers each year. The fundraising drive is not quite finished, and employees can participate in an upcoming dessert auction and a silent auction to raise funds for United Way.

“Our auction will have donated goods, items and services. Already we have someone donating work to be done on automobiles, another is a gift certificate from a landscaping firm, things like that,” Williams noted.“With our dessert auction, our employees are making their favorite desserts to be auctioned. People who win a dessert can take it home for Thanksgiving and not have to make a dessert!”

That seems like a wonderful example of how to enjoy the holiday while also helping people in need across our community this year.

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