Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Community Services Committee: Come Out And Volunteer; It Could Change Your Life

By Lisa A. Esposito

Lara LaVoie and I can’t believe we’re in our second year of co-chairing the Community Services Committee. Last year was great, thanks to many enthusiastic volunteers, such as Mary Snyder at Hill Ward Henderson; Melissa N. Gonzalez at Florida Legal Group; Melissa Knight, a staff attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit; and Tom Curran at Shumaker Loop & Kendrick. In fact, we want to thank all our volunteers for their commitment and dedication.

We held a number of inspiring events, helped a lot of different people, and perhaps even changed someone’s life, but we couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, we look forward to continuing where we ended last year, with your support, of course! Can we count on you to help us change the negative perception many in the community have about attorneys? We’re doing it one charitable event at a time. It’s working, but we need your assistance. 

This year, we also have more great events planned, and we hope to see many familiar faces back to help, whether it’s adopting needy veterans and making their day with a “We Care” visit, or becoming an elf for an elder, donning antlers, and singing a slightly off-key rendition of Rudolph. We need you! 

We hope to see our local judiciary and courthouse staff come back for another week of Dining With Dignity at Trinity Café, where, with dignity and grace, we serve a sit-down meal to Hillsborough County’s working poor. We also hope to meet some new volunteers as we host another pirate plunder carnival for the children at A Kids’ Place, a nonprofit home for abused children. Join us as we put smiles on the faces of some very deserving kids, hear them giggle, and, most importantly, be a part of letting them just be kids for a day.

If those events don’t inspire you to get involved, well, we plan to add a few more projects to our agenda, more ways to help our community and reach out to those less fortunate. In fact, come to a meeting and help us decide what we’ll do this year. Will we help raise awareness for RVR Horse Rescue, a charity that saves horses from severe abuse? Perhaps we will volunteer with Special Olympics or paint a house for a needy family? Get involved and help us decide what cause we will add to an already exciting array of causes.

Get involved, give back to our community, and you might find you gain more than you give. You can volunteer for one event, like Elves for Elders, Make a Difference Day-Adopt a Veteran, Trinity Café, or A Kids’ Place, or you can volunteer for all of them. So come out, meet some new friends, make a difference in someone’s life, and you may just come away with a lasting feeling of appreciation for what you have and a better understanding for those less fortunate. Be the change you wish to see in our community. Be a volunteer.