Cheryl Naja, Alston & Bird’s director of pro bono and community service, spoke with the Atlanta Business Chronicle about the state of volunteerism at the firm and in the industry as a whole. One of the trends she discussed was the boost the millennial generation has given to community service. “Thanks to our millennial volunteers, Alston & Bird now has a pro bono and community service Twitter handle—
—and a private Facebook group,” Naja said. “It’s been great to have volunteers keep the materials on these sites up to date.”
Another trend Naja sees is the push for family-friendly volunteer opportunities. “Unfortunately, many volunteer experiences and nonprofits have age limits and, for some of our volunteers, this presents a challenge.”
The solution: A new focus on opportunities for the entire family to volunteer. “Family-friendly volunteer experiences, projects such as the Georgia Justice Project’s Back2School event or the Atlanta Community Food Bank, are ideal for families with children.”
Every year, Alston & Bird works with Hands on Atlanta on the MLK Day of Service—the firm’s biggest family volunteer event of the year, with volunteers ranging in age from the very smallest children to senior citizens. The firm supports family participation by providing for a designated space and projects just for kids.
Older children of employees have also embodied the firm’s volunteerism spirit, according to Naja: “We were so proud to learn that one of our employee’s children who had volunteered for every Habitat [for Humanity] build over a two-year period was given statewide recognition because of his outstanding volunteering accomplishments.”