There is no greater demonstration of love to a community than giving back to it. Gary Martin Hays, founder of the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, lives by this statement. But where did these values of community come from?
“My dad was a minister,” Hays recalls. “and he served in a bunch of churches in small towns. It seemed like the leaders in all the churches were doctors and lawyers. I got to interact with them and it shaped my future.”
From the very beginning, Hays was always interested in leadership and involving himself in a community. His interest in law would develop further down the line and become an outlet allowing him to combine his love of community and his future career.
“In college, I just took some law classes and it came easy. It was one of those areas, too, where I felt like I could affect change,” he explains.
Decades later in 2020, his instinct from college proved true in the worst way possible: a pandemic. Hays knew this was a critical moment for many businesses. With stay-at-home orders and shutdowns all over the country, his actions could make or break the community he regarded so dearly.
“I know how much effort, blood, sweat, and tears I put into building my law firm, and it was not an overnight success. I put in a lot of hours, a lot of planning, a lot of prayer,” Hays says. “To see people that had finally gotten to the point where they built their dream business, only to have something that was totally unexpected cause their profits to diminish and their doors to close was terrible. To see that hurt, those tears, the fear of the unknown…so scary! When coronavirus is over and our economy opens up, these businesses may not be around. And that’s not the kind of community I want.”
It was through the same kind of effort, the blood, sweat, and tears Hays had put into establishing his law firm, that he gave back to the community when it needed it most.
“If you live in Gwinnett County, why don’t you want to do everything you can to make this a better place for everybody, for our kids?” Hays says. “I want to support anyone and everyone that is out there trying to live the American Dream and adding value to our community.”
In recent times, Hays has done exactly that. On top of committing himself to helping families in Atlanta get the justice they deserve, he has sponsored youth sports teams, awarded scholarships to students, and helped raise over two million dollars for charity, one of which includes The Heroes Project, an organization dedicated to cancer research. In 2008, he founded Keep Georgia Safe, a program designed to provide education and training on safety and crime prevention, and has engaged in the community in countless different ways.
Hays has full intentions of giving back to the community and continuing his philanthropic work for as long as he can. He sums up this thought in one sentence: “The work is not done yet.”
Check out the full podcast with Gary below!
Office locations for the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates vary by city. Consult the official website for a list of all locations and contact information.