LCLD Fellows Alumni at the Toy Drive in Richmond, VA. (Photo courtesy of 2011 Fellow Valyncia Saunders)
Despite the extremely busy time of the year, Fellows Alumni from six classes (2011-2016) wanted to be sure to give back to their local communities during the season of giving. Organized by the Outreach Committee Chair Joe Hanna, 2014 Fellow and Partner at Goldberg Segalla, and Vice-Chair Lisa Harris, 2016 Fellow and Partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Fellows Alumni in 10 cities throughout the U.S. organized Toy Drives to help bring holiday cheer to families in need.
Five Regional Leads, Patrice Jean (North), Jean Kuei (Mid-Atlantic), Bonnie Lau (West), Demetra Liggins (South), and Albert Lin (Mid-West) encouraged fellow Fellows Alumni in various cities to organize the toy drives to benefit an organization of their choice in their respective cities. Many of the Toy Drives were also scheduled around an opportunity for the Fellows Alumni to get together for networking time. And, in many cases, Fellows and Pathfinders joined the gatherings as well.
In Richmond, VA, the Fellows Alumni at Altria (pictured above) organized an event at a local wine bar for a chance to catch up and give back, joined by Erin Hess, an LCLD Program Manager. Toys for Tots was the beneficiary of the Richmond-area Toy Drive. Valyncia Saunders, 2011 Fellow and Senior Counsel at Altria, was the master coordinator for this event.
The Miami and Fort Lauderdale Fellows Alumni gathered in early December for their Toy Drive event. The Lotus House Shelter benefited from the good will donations of the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Fellows. Organizer Janeen N. Lofton, 2016 Class Liaison and Counsel at Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo, said, “We had good discussions: work/life balance, equal pay/competitive salary, how best to network, etc. To top it off, we were able to check off some of the items the kids had requested for Christmas. It was an all-around successful event!”
The New York area Fellows collected four large bags of gifts to donate to the New York Coalition for the Homeless. Microsoft generously donated space for the New York Fellows to gather and meet for their Toy Drive event. Megan Brillault, 2015 Fellow and Shareholder at Beveridge & Diamond, PC, worked with Alicia Lowery-Rosenbaum, another 2015 Fellow and Senior Counsel at Microsoft, to organize the details for the New York Toy Drive.
In Chicago, Bryan Cave, Allstate, and funds from the All In! campaign helped sponsor a Toy Drive event in mid-December (pictured above). Keikoh Park, 2016 Fellow and SVP and Global Compliance Counsel at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, organized the Chicago-area Toy Drive event, which took place at a local sushi restaurant. Current Fellows, Pathfinders, and 1L Mentors were all included in this Fellows Alumni event. Toys donated from the Chicago group benefitted the LYDIA Home in Chicago.
William Toles, 2014 Fellow and Partner at Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo LLP (pictured far right), who organized the Dallas and Fort Worth area Toy Drive along with Nate St. Clair, 2017 Fellow and Partner at Jackson Walker LLP, said they managed to fill five large trash bags full of toys to donate to their community. Their planning took some effort, but it was well worth it. Toles said, “Through the joint effort of the Dallas LCLD Fellows and Dallas business professionals, a number of toys were donated to the St. Phillips School and Community Center and Rainbow Days, Inc. We look forward to an even more successful event in 2018.”
Other Toy Drives were held in Philadelphia, where Cradles to Crayons received donations from local Fellows Alumni; Wilmington, DE, where Marine Toys for Tots was the beneficiary; in Seattle, where toy and other donations were made; and in the Boston area, in conjunction with the Hispanic National Bar Association.