Wendi Lewis, who works in the firm’s Information Technology Section, wrote the following article concerning activities of our employees during the holidays. It’s great to know that folks who work at our firm do so much good for others. They have been very busy getting ready for the holidays and deserve lots of credit for their dedicated efforts.
Beasley Allen employees are uniquely involved in outreach projects throughout the year, supporting programs that vary from blood drives to fund-raising, and the occasional special request to simply help a family or individual in need by donating a particular item. But it is during the holiday season, beginning in November to encompass feeding the hungry at Thanksgiving, and extending through Christmas, that our employees’ generous nature and whole-hearted embrace of the true meaning of the season really shines.
While there are often opportunities that crop up unexpectedly to help our neighbors, especially in this tough economic climate, there are a number of projects that Beasley Allen employees look forward to each year. Some reach out around the world, and others affect those right here in our backyard. Programs include:
Family Sunshine Center Thanksgiving
Chaired by Angela Talley, this program works to fill the table with gracious bounty for families affected by domestic abuse. The Family Sunshine Center provides shelter, counseling and comfort to women and their children who are the victims of abuse. Beasley Allen employees help fill the table with a traditional holiday meal by collecting items including cornmeal, sugar, flour, canned and fresh fruit, and other staples. Several staff members enjoy visiting the Sunshine Center each year to deliver the items. “I just love being able to meet the mothers,” Angela says. “Our firm’s blessings to them always make them so happy!”
Operation Christmas Child
Chairperson Kelli Flanagan recruits volunteers each year for this unique program of Christian relief and evangelism. Employees fill a shoebox or similar sized box with gifts for a child. People throughout the country and around the world participate in this program, operated by the organization Samaritan’s Purse, reaching more than 1 million children in disadvantaged situations every year. Gift boxes are delivered to children around the world, including countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and missionaries are able to share the original Christmas story – the birth of Jesus – while delivering gifts. Each year Beasley Allen employees fill more than 70 boxes for needy children.
Operation: We Care, Soldier Ministry
This program, headed up by Beasley Allen employee Tabitha McGuire, asks anyone who would like to participate to adopt a soldier for Christmas. The program includes Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who will not be home for the Christmas Holidays, ensuring that they know someone cares for them and appreciates their service to their country. Christmas care packages to our fighting men and women include necessities as well as “treats,” filled with items such as magazines, hand towels, wash cloths, insulated cups with lids, word puzzle books, hard candy, Gatorade packets, beef jerky, power/energy bars, packs of crackers, foot powder, deodorant, gum, devotional books, and more. Most importantly, volunteers in this project include a personal note or card to let the soldier know that people back home appreciate their sacrifice and remember them. “It’s fitting for us as a free people to publicly and intentionally acknowledge, thank and bless those men and women who have paid a heavy price to ensure our liberty,” Tabitha says. “Freedom, as they say, is never free.”
Toy Store Hands of Christ
Beasley Allen employees donate new toys for children ages infant to 18 years old, which are placed in the “Toy Store” operated by Chisholm Ministry Center. These items are marked down to extremely reduced rates, ranging from about $.50 to $3.00, allowing low income families who cannot afford to pay retail prices to enjoy the experience of Christmas shopping for their children. The Toy Store ministry was established to help place dignity and respect back into the home by affording parents the opportunity to provide a Christmas for their children. This ministry effort is chaired by Beasley Allen employee Sherry McHenry.
Organized each year by Willa Carpenter, this outreach collects items such as blankets, adult men and women’s clothing, non-prescription medications, and personal hygiene items for residents of the Friendship Missions shelter. Friendship Mission is a PCA Presbyterian church and shelter located on the western side of Montgomery. The church and shelter provide two worship services each day except Saturday, hot meals for all homeless and poor who attend, and counseling and Bible study on weeknights for about 50 people living in the shelter. Gifts collected for this project also will be distributed to the homeless and poor who live outside the shelter as well.
Capitol Hill Nursing Home
This project provides a Merry Christmas for the residents of Capitol Hill Nursing Home. Many of the people at this home never receive any visitors, and very often these gifts are the only ones they will receive to cheer their holiday season. Capitol Hill Nursing Home provides an “angel tree” for residents, where they may write their Christmas wish on a provided angel-shaped card and hang it on the tree. Beasley Allen employees adopt an angel or two, fulfilling the hopes they find on each card. Requests include such gifts as slippers, robes, lotions and loungewear. Many Beasley Allen employees enjoy visiting the home when all the gifts are collected, seeing first-hand the joy on residents’ faces as their gifts are delivered by these special Santas.
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