Hogan Lovells is one of the busiest and most well-known law firms in Washington, with more than 100 years of experience in the nation’s capital. But when November rolls around, many of its lawyers and staffers pause and take the time to help the homeless in the Washington area by participating in the annual clothing drive that is a signature event organized each year by Gifts for the Homeless Inc. (GFTH). www.gfth.org.
November is when 15 “floor captains” at Hogan are named and dozens of lawyers and staff begin gathering clothing that is stored in unused office space. They then take the clothing to the central drop-off point where they join other volunteers to sort the clothing and ultimately distribute the clothing to homeless shelters and service providers in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. During the clothing drive in December 2019, 3,000 bags of clothing were distributed.
“I sent out my first email to my floor as a floor captain, and instantly got just tons of people stopping by saying, ‘Oh, we’re so excited about this. I saved my clothes all year to donate to this event,’” said Daniel Mader, a Hogan associate who became involved with the drive for the first time in 2019 and is now on the GFTH Leadership Council. “I’ve been absolutely blown away by how committed the firm is to doing this.”
In addition to the clothing drive, Hogan has supported GFTH through donations amounting to $385,000 since 2009, according to Erika Bowman, citizenship program manager at the firm. The firm also helps the homeless in other ways as well, Bowman said.
Gifts for the Homeless, started more than 30 years ago by members of the Washington legal community, is one of the oldest citizenship activities Hogan has engaged in, said Leslie Burke, a knowledge systems services analyst at the firm. “The appealing thing about it is that it’s all volunteer, and there’s no percentage taken out for any of the monetary donations,” she said. “They all go to purchasing necessary items.” That’s correct. One hundred per cent of every dollar donated to GFTH is used to purchase, at wholesale, essential winter clothing items and blankets for homeless men, women and children in the DC metro area.
Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring law firms, organizations, donors, shelters and others who play a crucial role in the work of Gifts for the Homeless Inc., a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping the homeless of the Washington area. If you or your organization have a story to tell, please email firstname.lastname@example.org