This post has nothing to do with legal marketing, law firms, lawyers, Facebook, social media or anything else that might be considered “professional.” This post has to do with that which is outside our offices. This post has to do with that which is outside ourselves. Tis the season, I am reminded every time a commercial comes on, whatever your season might be. For anyone reading this, you most likely have a job, and you definitely have access to a computer and the Internet. You are, in my definition, blessed. If you’re like me, you are counting down the shopping days until Christmas, or getting ready to light the candles and open some gifts later this evening. If you’re like me, you are planning your menus for holiday dinners, and what you’ll serve to ring in the New Year, or munch on for those Bowl games. Let’s not forget, however, it’s not like that for everyone. Just take a look outside yourself. Listen to the conversations about you. There is panic and fear in the air.

  • How many of you have unemployed or underemployed friends and families?
  • Who amongst us took a deep sigh of relief when the layoffs bypassed us and moved onto someone down the hall or at a different firm?
  • How often do you pass a family who are obviously struggling to keep their head’s above water and think “But for the grace of God …”?
  • Who amongst us knows of a proud soldier overseas fighting for a cause you may or may not agree with, but whom you respect, nonetheless?

So, do something. Do some good this weekend.

  • Adopt a family. In Los Angeles, LAUSD just sent out a notice asking for help. I’m personally coordinating the adoption of nine families through the Westside Children’s Center. Make a couple phone calls and see what local organizations are organizing in your community.
  • Feed the Food Bank. Tomorrow, December 4th, Girl Scout troops throughout Los Angeles have partnered with Vons to collect items for the local food banks through their Feed Your Neighbor Food Drive. Our troop will be here from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm tomorrow if you’re nearby. If not, go through your pantry and grab some of these items and deliver to your local food bank.
  • Donate a Warm Coat. If you can’t do a whole One Warm Coat collection, at least go through your closet and take some items over to the local homeless shelter, especially those that service families.
  • Add a wounded soldier to your Holiday Card list. This is floating around Facebook right now. Send a card to A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20307-5001.
  • Toss a dollar in a  Salvation Army Red Kettle. Break a $20 or $50 and keep those singles handy for when you pass a Salvation Army Kettle. Toss a dollar in each time. You’ll not only be able to say “I already donated” as you leave the store, but you might just inspire the person behind you to toss a dollar in too.
  • Donate a goat. Seriously. Does your mom really need another Christmas sweater? Or would she appreciate that you donated a goat, some chickens, a mosquito net, clean water, or an education to a child in her name?

I truly hope that this “season of giving” means more to you than just scoring the latest DSi or Wii Game (both of which will be under our tree). My children and family will not go without this year … and we’ll definitely do our best to share our blessings with others. It’s really up to you what you do. The above list is just what we do. If you have a favorite holiday charity or program that you contribute to, please share with us in the comments below. I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. Photo courtesy of World Vision.