Written by Matthew Ern Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola law firm of Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein and Breitstone gave back to two Freeport youths this holiday season through the Family & Children’s Association’s “Adopt-a-Family” program. Supervisor of Office Services Stacey Harris and Office Manager Karen
Goldberg have worked with their colleagues at the firm and organized adoptions for the past several years.
The program matches donors with youth, families, and seniors in need of support both during this holiday season and throughout the year. Family & Children’s in Mineola has helped about 800 families over the past seven years of running the “adoption” program.
FCA’s Director of Marketing and Communications Joyce Mullen says “it’s heartwarming for both the donors and families benefiting from the program.”
Meltzer Lippe has been involved with Family & Children’s for the past four years and Goldberg says that working with the charity has now become tradition. They started out adopting one family each year, but for the past two years, they’ve upped it to twice that many. This year, they sponsored two young men from the Walkabout Home for homeless youths in Freeport.
The Walkabout for Young Men and Women is a transitional house, which started in 1974. Up to 10 homeless youths aged 16-20 are provided with housing and counseling services for up to 18 months.
The goal of the house, according to reps, is to provide the adolescents with life skills to prepare them for living within the community. Residents must follow certain guidelines such as working to complete school and working either part-or full-time jobs. They are also expected to acquire independent living skills such as cooking, budgeting money, and chores around the house.
Goldberg and Harris received a wish list from the association and then emailed around the firm asking people to donate so that they could best fulfill the recipients’ desires. In the past, they’ve also covered the cost of rent, utilities and food for their “adopted” families.
“We actually have a ‘Calling All Elves’ day where we set aside some time to wrap presents and gift baskets,” Goldberg says. “There are 10 adolescents at the Walkabout home and since we want to do something for everyone in the house, we made both a dessert and a breakfast basket for all of the residents to share, as well as fulfilling the ‘wish lists’ for the two young men.”
She added that everyone at the firm tries to get involved in making the holidays brighter for the families, “It’s fun, feels good, and because the FCA is local it gives us the opportunity to help members of own community- it’s a win-win for all!”
On top of the meals and gift baskets for their two sponsored youths, the firm donated money toward utilities. Meltzer Lippe also partnered with WB Mason to participate in Family & Children’s “Back-to-School Drive” this year.
The homeless youth in particular are thrilled by donations of simple things like coats and clothing. “And of course, we have many children who are just delighted to open presents from Santa still believing that miracles do happen,” Mullen added.
Over 100 people have either bought gifts or donated money to the program this year. Mullen urges everyone to give a gift and pass on the charitable spirit.