“Well, in Whoville they say, that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.” – Dr. Suess
At the IndyBar, we have no Grinches, but it seems our members’ hearts have grown during the season of giving. Several IndyBar sections and divisions organized community service events that served in a variety of ways this year, from meal preparation to hosting a holiday party. While the recipients of the service projects changed, one thing didn’t: the generous spirit of IndyBar members. At each event, a willingness and enthusiasm to give time, talents and treasures were present.
During this past month, members of the Women & the Law Division (WLD), held two civic events. At the first, their annual Dream Dinners meal preparation event, members created 100 homemade meals for members of our community who need it the most. Meals were donated to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy through the EMBRACE program, so the patients could take nutritious meals home to their families after a day of treatment, as well as The Julian Center, so that families fleeing domestic violence could be welcomed with hearty and nutritious food.
The WLD also hosted a holiday party for the children and families of the Coburn Place. This is another annual event for the division that not only brings joy to the children but also the volunteers. WLD member and Coburn place volunteer, Commissioner Therese Hannah, was the 2016 WLD philanthropy chair who arranged this festive and fun gathering with the help of her committee and members of the division. Food, fun and prizes, along with a cookie decorating contest, made this party a hit for all who attended!
The IndyBar’s Health Care & Life Sciences Section volunteered their time at the Crooked Creek Food Pantry. Members acted as personal shoppers to the customers at the food pantry, helping them select the best produce, fruit and canned goods for their families. Additionally, they packaged them up carefully so the customers didn’t have to struggle home with their grocery bags.
In keeping with the spirit of the season of giving, the Paralegal Committee hosted their 2016 Teddy Bear Challenge, where they collected over 4,300 animals. Many paralegals take the whole year to collect new and gently loved teddy bears and other stuffed animals to donate to local law enforcement and emergency agencies, including the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Indianapolis Fire Department and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. The program, “Bears on Patrol,” is designed to reduce the suffering of children who are witness to upsetting incidents.
The IndyBar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Executive Committee designated $500 of their budget to buy toys for The Villages, Indiana’s largest not-for-profit child and family services agency. These toys were collected during the months of November and December and were all brought to the YLD holiday party on December 15. Julie Mahomed, the 2017 YLD chair, led the toy drive this year. We are so thankful for the support the Division has shown us with this toy drive for children of our community!
Even when our members are celebrating their accomplishments and rewarding themselves for a year well done at their holiday parties, the spirit of giving still hasn’t left their hearts. At each holiday gathering, a representative of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation attends and explains the Foundation’s mission. At each party, members of the sections and divisions have graciously donated to help the Foundation meet their end-of-the-year goal, amassing more than $2,3000 in party donations.
“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.” Our members know the true meaning of the holiday season: it is not about receiving, but it is about giving.
From all of us here at the IndyBar, thank you for what you do, members. Happy Holidays!