Impact Thrift Presents Inaugural ‘Making an Impact’ Award
August 18, 2016
Impact Thrift Stores recently presented its first-ever “Making an Impact” award to law firm Ballard Spahr, in recognition of the many hours of pro bono legal service the firm has dedicated to the nonprofit over the years.
Gray Wirth, President and CEO of Impact Thrift Stores, presented the award to Mary Gay Scanlon, Pro Bono Counsel with Ballard Spahr’s Philadelphia office. Wirth noted that the firm has donated 395 hours of legal counsel to Impact Thrift since 2003, work that would have cost the organization $164,858 otherwise.
“Ballard Spahr has provided vital legal guidance that our growing organization needs regarding everything from human resources to business and real estate law,” said Wirth. “By donating that expertise, Ballard Spahr has enabled us to invest that nearly $165,000 to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our communities here in the greater Philadelphia area.”
Founded in Philadelphia in 1885, Ballard Spahr today has more than 500 attorneys in 14 offices nationwide. While it focuses its practice on litigation, business and finance, real estate, intellectual property, and public finance, providing pro bono service to nonprofits and those in need is a cornerstone of its commitment. Each year, the firm’s attorneys donate more than 40,000 hours of pro bono legal service to causes ranging from human rights advocacy to estate planning for first responders to taxation and corporate advice for nonprofits.
The Making an Impact award was presented to the firm at Impact Thrift’s inaugural Regional Impact Breakfast, “Bridging the Gap,” held June 15 and presented by premier sponsor BB&T bank.
With nearly 200 business and community leaders in attendance, the event featured a keynote address, “Social Impact for the Greater Philadelphia Region: Our Lineage, Our Obligation, Our Future” from Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. It also included comments from representatives of several charities that Impact Thrift supports with its financial proceeds.
The Regional Impact Breakfast continues Impact Thrift’s capital campaign to raise $250,000 to fund its expansion plans over the next three years. Today, Impact Thrift’s work touches about 700,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Philadelphia area each year. By 2018, the nonprofit wants to be able to impact 1 million lives, by opening two additional stores, doubling its support to local charities, opening three additional DonationPOINTS, and purchasing additional warehouse equipment and store fixtures.
“We are blessed to live in a community with so many amenities and opportunities,” said Wirth. “Nevertheless, there are hundreds of thousands of people in our region who are struggling. As business and nonprofit leaders, we must ask ourselves what more we can do to help those in need.”
Fueled by nearly 250 employees, more than 900 dedicated volunteers, and thousands of people who donate tons of household goods and clothing, the Impact Thrift ecosystem positively impacts local communities in many ways. Donating items to Impact Thrift supports recycling efforts, diverting usable items that otherwise would end up in landfills and enables the organization to offer a dignified shopping experience for all by providing access to affordable clothing, furniture and household goods.
Impact also works to create meaningful employment and volunteer opportunities by offering second-chance employment to individuals with criminal records or with special needs and by welcoming teens and adults who must complete mandatory community service hours.
Up to 50 percent of the net proceeds raised through Impact Thrift’s operations then is given to 15 local charities. Since 2001, Impact Thrift has given its partner charities more than $2 million, supporting their missions to feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide job training and educational services, and to enable children to reach their full potential through social and educational programs.
To learn more and to find out how you can support Impact Thrift’s work, visit www.increaseourimpact.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Mary Gay Scanlon, Pro Bono Counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP, accepts the “Making an Impact Award” from Impact Thrift President and CEO Gray Wirth during the nonprofit’s 1st Annual Regional Impact Breakfast at Talamore Country Club near Ambler, Pa., on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Impact Thrift recognized Ballard Spahr for the many hours of pro bono legal service the firm has dedicated to it and to many other area nonprofits over the years.