Mintz's Back-to-School Backpack Project
Together, employees from across Mintz’s US offices and friends of the firm provided children in need with back-to-school backpacks in 2023 — bringing our grand total, since 2003, to nearly 5,900 backpacks!
Jen Rubin talks about her work with The Honor Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting Navy SEALS and members of the U.S. Special Operations community as they transition from the military to the private sector.
Back-to-School Backpack Project
Since 2003, the firm has provided more than 5,800 backpacks to children living in shelters. Each child receives a backpack filled with school supplies and a new outfit to wear on the first day of school. The backpacks are tailored to each child so that they are very personal and special. The shelters say this is marvelous for the children’s self-esteem: they go back to school dressed as nicely as their peers, with backpacks filled with supplies. It makes them feel good about themselves, encourages them to look forward to the new school year, and lets them know their community cares about them and their education.
The mission of Bread for the City is to provide residents living with low income in Washington, DC with comprehensive food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services. Every November, the DC office raises funds to pay for holiday meals for families that may otherwise go without. In past years, we have been able to provide over 100 households with a Thanksgiving dinner. In addition, office members have volunteered at a Bread for the City Farmers Market, hosted in partnership with Capital Area Food Bank and Dreaming Out Loud, to help pack free grocery bags for families in need.
BUILD provides entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning to students at under-resourced schools. Our DC office supports this organization by providing volunteer speakers and judges for capstone projects, financially contributing to the program, and gifting a night in our Washington Nationals suite for their teachers.
La Casa de Las Madres
San Francisco’s La Casa de Las Madres provides shelter and support for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Each year, the San Francisco office raises funds for the organization.
Holiday Gift Drive for Children
Every holiday season, attorneys and staff buy gifts for 250+ women and children who are victims of domestic violence. As we think about celebrations and our own good fortune, it is a Mintz tradition to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
Holiday Gift Drive for Veterans
Every year, attorneys and staff purchase gifts of clothing and other needed items for approximately 30 to 35 men and women at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston. The firm’s gift drive started more than 25 years ago, and now the firm is the largest donator of gifts to veterans in Massachusetts. It’s our way of saying thank you to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us, and it’s especially important at a time when more is needed to prevent those who served from falling into homelessness.
Lava Mae, operating in San Francisco and Los Angeles, repurposes public transit buses into mobile showers and toilets for the homeless. Once a year, Mintz puts together hygiene packets, including items such as travel-sized toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and the like for the organization’s clients. In addition to donating particular items, individuals in our offices participate in fundraisers, such as bake sales and a chili cook-off, to raise money to purchase items in bulk. In 2018, we put together about 100 gender-neutral hygiene kits and 25 hygiene kits specifically for women. In addition, we’ve continued our ongoing in-office collection of supplies for kits, which are delivered to the organization from time to time (including one delivery during the pandemic of supplies collected earlier.)
Meals on Wheels (MOW)
The San Francisco office, through its SF Community Impact Committee, regularly provides support to Meals on Wheels (MOW). The participants started by going to MOW and bagging groceries before work on the first Wednesday of each month. Later MOW approached the team about participating in its Adopt-a-Building program. Until the pandemic started, two Mintz volunteers would go to our adopted building in the Tenderloin every Friday to deliver meals to about 30 MOW clients.
Mintz Votes Initiative
During the 2020 presidential election, over 80 attorneys and staff volunteered through approved nonpartisan opportunities, and many more volunteered their time independently on partisan activities. Through the sharing of personal stories about voting through the “Inspired to Vote” email series, selfies in our #MintzVotes masks, and office-wide email chains, we have tried to reinforce our sense of community.
Mock Trial & Mock Appeal After School Program
The program, run by Discovering Justice, introduces middle school students to the justice system. Over the course of a semester, firm attorneys and professionals work with the students to prepare a mock legal case. The students conduct a full trial in federal court at the end of the fall semester, delivering opening and closing statements and examining witnesses in front of an actual state or federal judge. At the end of the spring semester, the students submit appellate briefs and present oral arguments in order to appeal their cases before a panel of judges. Mintz staff also help by recruiting volunteer jurors for the mock trial.
My Sister’s Place is the District of Columbia’s first domestic violence hotline and shelter. Their goal is to end domestic violence and empower survivors to build healthy and independent lives. The DC Office helps by providing some of the organization’s greatest needs, such as infant products and Target and Walmart gift cards, to survivors and their children.
Operation Santa/Head Start
The San Francisco office fulfilled the holiday wish lists of about 15 local children, with gifts of toys, clothing, and shoes requested by the recipients, all selected and gift wrapped by our volunteers.
Pie in the Sky
Mintz is a proud supporter of Pie in the Sky, an annual campaign sponsored by Community Servings, an organization that prepares more than 2,000 meals each day and delivers them to individuals with HIV/AIDS and other acute life-threatening illnesses throughout the metro Boston area. Through Pie in the Sky, Mintz sells about 100 pies to employees each Thanksgiving season, raising about $3,000 for the organization.
Each summer, the DC office is proud to honor former colleague Peter Kimm with the annual PK Day of community service. Peter Kimm was a young Member in the DC office who was killed in an automobile accident in June of 1995. He was an extraordinary person and lawyer, and he was deeply dedicated to his community. The DC office started the Peter Kimm Community Service Day in 1995 to honor his memory. We partner with the following charitable partners hosting opportunities to participate in both external and in-house events every June:
As the nation’s first and leading community kitchen, DC Central Kitchen develops and operates social ventures targeting the cycle of hunger and poverty. They fight hunger differently by training jobless adults for culinary careers and then hiring dozens of their own graduates to prepare the three million meals provided to homeless shelters, schools, and nonprofits each year. The DC office collected and provided the kitchen with bulk items they needed.
DC Scores creates neighborhood soccer teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. They envision a DC where every neighborhood supports and celebrates its children and their accomplishments on and off the playing field. The DC Office provided 200 summer backpacks with reading materials and fun items to be distributed to the organization’s camp participants.
The DC Office supported their McKenna’s Wagon program, a mobile food service that rolls out 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to two downtown locations to feed hundreds of DC neighbors who may be experiencing housing instability or hunger. Participants in the DC Office prepared and provided over 250 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to share with the community via McKenna’s Wagon.
Washington Parks & People is the capital’s hub for activating public lands & waters for broad community revitalization through partnership, innovation, discovery, and workforce development. A team of Mintz DC employees participated in the removal of invasive species at Walter Pierce Park.
SF Community Impact Committee Pandemic-Related Projects
During the work-from-home period, the SF Community Impact Committee met online, and continued its efforts in new ways. Early on, the committee found information on Bay Area organizations supporting those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and shared it with everyone from the office to assist employees who wanted to donate in a local and meaningful way. In December, the group worked with The Bar Association of San Francisco and Wu Yee Children’s Services, collecting enough funds to donate 20 $150 Target gift certificates to local families in need. In the summer of 2021, the committee created and shared a list of organizations accepting various types of in-kind donations to keep those things out of landfills and get them into the hands that could use them. We found places that take books, bikes, cars, craft supplies, shoes, clothing, diapers, sporting equipment, and dozens of other types of items. The committee also added a new nonprofit to its roster of beneficiaries — the City Surf Project.
Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, or SMYAL, is an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In addition to accommodating 26 residents in two transitional homes, SMYAL offers leadership development opportunities, after-school programs, and counseling services that support and empower these youths as they grow into adulthood. In 2019, our DC office raised just under $1,000 in donations as well as gifting all 26 residents of SMYAL’s housing program with holiday presents.
The Nationals Youth Baseball Academy provides a broad range of programs: mentoring, health and wellness, education, and community engagement programs in Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, DC. The academy's mentoring program uses baseball and softball as vehicles to teach its Scholar Athletes about problem-solving, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and character development. In November and December, we launch the Mintz Pitches In Gift Campaign, an annual event in which the DC Office partners with the academy by providing holiday gifts to all Scholar Athletes. Since 2015, we have provided over 600 holiday gifts to elementary and middle school children residing in some of DC’s most underserved areas.