Over the course of more than 20 years, DLA Piper has been an irreplaceable behind the scenes supporter of HEROS. It started with helping incorporate our charity, then assisting with contracts and other legal paperwork and now our partnership extends well beyond pro-bono legal work. “We’ve had a lot of interactions with HEROS on different levels. So on a sort of a legal or corporate level, we have done a lot of pro-bono work for HEROS…We’ve also done a lot of volunteering,” explained Chris Bennett, an intellectual property and technology lawyer at DLA Piper.
Since 2000, DLA Piper has sponsored an annual Christmas party for every HEROS chapter across Canada. They generously donate $25,000 for the celebration that’s put towards a pizza party and gift cards for the kids. In true HEROS spirit, a give back program started as part of this celebration in recent years. Children have been encouraged to spend part of their gift card on someone other than themselves. “It really gave the kids the same sort of feeling of happiness or just fulfillment when you help somebody else out. I think that was something that a lot of them actually had never experienced before,” described Chris.
It is reasons like this that DLA Piper continues to support HEROS: the “tangible results.” The employees remark that hearing the stories of where the HEROS come from really “puts your life into perspective” and seeing their growth first hand makes them feel good about supporting them. The ongoing cycle of mentors is another clear sign of the program’s success. Participants are mentored and then return to the program as mentors contributing to and building the community. DLA Piper has joined in the mentorship cycle actively mentoring Nick one of our first HEROS, who you may remember from our August issue of Along the Boards. “HEROS really makes a better world…I think it’s obvious to anybody who spends any time watching what happens to these kids over time in the program,” explained Chris.
The impact HEROS has is easy to see and it’s organizations like DLA Piper, who’s sponsorship has evolved over the last two decades from pro-bono work to mentoring and volunteering, that create a positive impact in all our chapter communities. “I think as a firm and a community, we’re really grateful for the program and Norm and what he has done for the kids and our communities. It really has been a real privilege to be a part of it.”