We have always been a company that is proud of our collective commitment to give back to the communities in which we live and work. One way that we strive to enhance our commitment to community service is through our involvement with Entrepreneurs For North Texas (EFNT), an organization who makes it easy for companies like us to "do good". As a very engaged EFNT Member Company, EFNT helps facilitate our involvement in the community and assists us in developing a company culture of good corporate citizens.

The year following the horrific September 11th tragedy, EFNT launched an annual day of service called Freedom Day as a way to honor the tragedy that altered so many lives in America. Freedom Day, now in its 12th year, unites hundreds of EFNT Member Companies (our company included) for an inspirational day of community service that will make a positive difference in our local community.

Last year, Freedom Day was at Sarah Zumwalt Middle School. This year, Freedom Day was held at William H. Atwell Law Academy, focusing on repainting, restoring and revitalizing the Dallas ISD middle school. The day started off with Tim Doke, the former American Airlines VP of Corporate Communication, sharing his personal story from 9/11. Following Doke’s keynote, paint brushes and paint buckets in hand, 500+ volunteers fanned out across the school for a full day of painting and revitalizing the school.

Strolling down the hallways that day you would have witnessed the beauty of 500+ volunteers (including approximately half of Telligent employees from our headquarters) from 45 EFNT Member Companies working together to beautify a school – paint rollers dripping with red and blue paint, volunteers working to revamp the teacher’s lounge, a mural of the school’s mascot being drawn above the auditorium entranceway and inspirational words being filled in along the hallways. By the end of the day, students, teachers and administrators got a chance to enter a facility that reflects the enthusiastic commitment they have toward generating an educated workforce and strengthening their community. The picture below of the grateful Atwell students forming heart symbols to say thank you makes the day all worthwhile.

[image coutesy of The Dallas Morning News]

The 500+ volunteers that showed up for Freedom Day served as a clarion call for community service, putting the city of Dallas on notice that September 11th is no longer just a day for mournful reflection. Thanks to the efforts of EFNT and other organizations across Dallas and around the country, September 11th is now also a day for individual community impact and inspirational corporate philanthropy.

As CEO, it was heartwarming to see so many Telligent employees show up eager to roll up their sleeves and help paint a brighter tomorrow for the students at that school. We had a great time at Freedom Day this year and hope that we were able to play a small part in brightening the faces and spirits of the students and teachers at Atwell for this school year.