Why We Serve: Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties

The Forrest Firm is proud to be the largest law firm in North Carolina to become a Certified B corporation, or B Corp. By definition, B Corps are dedicated to using business as a force for good in the world. To that end, our firm has amplified acts of volunteerism and community outreach, as well as pro bono work for which the legal profession is known. In this new series, “Why We Serve,” attorney David Morris spotlights an organization where he’s had opportunities to serve both personally and professionally, the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties.

By David Morris (Forrest Firm attorney licensed in New York only, not in North Carolina)

Throughout my career as an entrepreneur, commercial banker, and lawyer I’ve always believed in dedicating my time and talents to non-profits, my church, and other faith-based organizations. I knew right away when I joined last year that working with the Forrest Firm would not only allow me the flexibility to pursue my volunteer activities, but would actually encourage and support my community involvement.

One of the non-profits I’ve had the pleasure of working with is the Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties (BGCDOC). BGCDOC has been a dedicated champion for youth since 1939, securing the success of children by offering quality programming focused on life skills and academic achievements. Participation in BGCDOC gives children the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment.

BGCDOC, like all great non-profits, has a tightly-focused mission with many effective ways of reaching its strategic goals. Many people who’ve intersected with the organization through the years would mistakenly think that it’s simply a framework for mentoring with adults volunteering to work with at-risk youth. But the BGCDOC is so much more.

In fact, the organization now utilizes eight service areas to take care of our community’s children. The eight key services areas of BGCDOC are Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Sports, Fitness, and Recreation; Health and Life Skills, Technology, Gang Prevention through Targeted Outreach; Summer Camp; and the Arts.

Like many non-profits, the BGCDOC takes an event-based approach to fundraising, but the organization combines more common events like its annual gala (filled with great music, dining, and programming including a speech from the Youth of the Year recipient) with clever innovations like Cook for a Cause, a collaboration with local cooking school C’est si Bon! that involves corporate teams learning to cook.

I’ve worked with BGCDOC in many capacities, including making contributions where I excel professionally. In addition to helping with fundraising efforts, I have assisted in establishing strategic partnerships, supported their programming initiatives on an individual basis, and advised the executive director on corporate governance matters.

In addition to the legal work I’ve performed for BGCDOC, the organization consistently affords me wonderful opportunities for personal service, where I can work directly on the wellbeing of children. Recently, I had the distinct honor of serving as a judge for the organization’s NC Youth of the Year Competition, which honors youth who are striving to reach their highest potential in life, through school, sports, activities, and service.

The future is very bright for this vibrant, relevant organization that’s approaching its 80th birthday in 2019. I am very grateful to work with the team at BGCDOC and my colleagues at the Forrest Firm, as we collaborate to make our already wonderful communities even better places to live and work.