Friday, February 7, 2014

Volunteer For A Day And Change The World Of Someone In Need

By Lara M. LaVoie

The committed group of volunteers that I have met over the past few months through my involvement as co-chair of the Community Services Committee (CSC) has left me with a great sense of hope and pride, especially for the legal profession. After the success of the Adopt-a-Veteran event in October, where volunteers gave their time so generously to fulfill the wish lists and hearts of veterans in need, I am amazed at how many individuals stepped up once again to support the Elves for Elders event in December. The CSC (due in no small part to the unwavering dedication of my co-chair, Lisa Esposito) was able to get all 230 Elders “adopted” this year! Without elves like us, these wonderful seniors would have had no presents under their trees/menorahs. As I write this article, I am anticipating the joy of delivering gifts and smiles to this forgotten group of people during the holidays.  

Hopefully, you will be able to spare a few hours to volunteer at one of our upcoming heartwarming volunteer events.  In February, we will spend a day with the children at A Kid’s Place in Brandon, which is a 60-bed facility for abused, neglected, or abandoned children. It has a unique setting with five 3,200-square-foot homes, located on 5 acres. A Kid’s Place uses a live-in house parent model, which provides the children (from newborn to 17 years of age) with a family living atmosphere and a variety of services to meet their social, educational, medical, and psychological needs. We hope to have a carnival-type event there on a Saturday afternoon, with a cookout and fun events for the kids and teens. Organizing and implementing this event is going to require a lot of time and resources; we really appreciate and need any and all help that you can provide!  

In March, the CSC will participate in Dining with Dignity Week, in association with Trinity Café. The CSC’s friends and family will spend a few hours at Trinity Café serving sit-down, three-course meals to Hillsborough County’s homeless, hungry, and working poor. The café’s mission is to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless and hungry, while serving a nutritious meal. This unique café sets its tables with tablecloths and silverware. Lunch is served on china; drinks are poured in glasses; and the conversation is cheerful and compassionate. We will need volunteers for any day that week to serve lunch, pour drinks, or just sit and share some one-on-one meal-time conversation!

If you are interested in joining the CSC or volunteering for an upcoming event, please contact Lara LaVoie ( or Lisa Esposito (