The holidays are a time of giving. Gifts and delicious treats abound during this time of year. But the season is also a great time to bolster pro bono efforts for those most in need. Many programs seek additional donations at this time but others also provide services in the name of the holiday season or highlight the wonderful pro bono work happening in their community. Below are a few examples of ways you can take a moment during the holiday to provide a great public service.
- Last year Legal Aid of Marin in San Rafael, CA held their Annual Holiday Clinic assisting Marin County residents with matters ranging from foreclosure and eviction to consumer and employment. This two day clinic, which began in 2008, expected to draw from 100 to 150 residents and served as a wonderful collaborative effort between Legal Aid of Marin staff, volunteer attorneys and law students from throughout the Bay Area.
- The Legal Aid Society in New York City held their Holiday Party for Homeless and Other Vulnerable Children, bringing more than 500 children together for fun and gift giving during the 2011 holiday season. Children who participated were homeless, from families struggling to provide food and shelter or living with senior citizen grandparents struggling on a fixed income. For many of these children, the gifts they received during the party were the only presents they would receive.
- Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (LANWT) produced a holiday newsletter highlighting pro bono efforts, stories about clients and sharing the accomplishments and victories throughout the year. This newsletter not only highlights LANWT’s work but also introduces their staff, volunteers and shares funny and heartfelt stories about events and programs.
What do you or your program do to share the holiday spirit? Share your experiences in the comments below.