THE CASE FOR HUMANITY
The Legal Aid Society is an indispensable component of the legal,
social and economic fabric of New York City - passionately advocating for
individuals across a variety of civil, criminal and juvenile rights
matters, while also pursuing a broad legal reform agenda.
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The Legal Aid Society's Holiday Party for Homeless and Other
Vulnerable Children will be held on Thursday, December
at Synod Hall on the grounds of the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, from
4 to 6 p.m. During the last few years, we began to include
children from the Juvenile Rights Practice who have been abandoned, abused
and/or neglected and also children from low-income families who are
struggling to provide food and shelter. For many of these children, The
Legal Aid Society party is the only source of holiday gifts.
Last year, the generosity of the staff of The Legal Aid
Society and law firms and corporations that support the work of the
Society made the holiday season a special one for approximately 500
children and their families during the annual Legal Aid Society Holiday Party for Homeless
and Other Vulnerable Children.
Special thanks to the
following for donating mountains of toys and games, contributions and
tremendous volunteers: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP;
Citigroup Inc.; Cravath, Swaine
& Moore LLP; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; Hughes, Hubbard & Reed
LLP; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP;
Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer P.C.; Sidley
Austin, LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and Wachtell, Lipton,
Rosen & Katz. A. Robert Pietrzak, a partner at
Sidley Austin LLP and a Director of the Society, a.k.a. Santa
Claus, will assume his traditional role again
We thank you on behalf of the children for making last year's party
a huge success. We are urging you to help again. We have lots of needs: We
need loads of toys for all ages-- infants through teens and we need
money-- $12,700 to pay for expenses for the party. Checks should
be made out to The Legal Aid Society and sent to Pat Bath, Director of
Communications, The Legal Aid Society, 199 Water Street, NYC, NY
10038. We also need volunteers to work at the party. We need
people to help set up the day of the party. Everything you do makes this a
great party for the children.
Good News: Some of the firms have already
begun the toy collection and contribution drives. We will be in touch with
the firms to arrange pick up times for the toy collection. We will make
individual arrangements with each firm for toy pick-up.
Toys: We always need toys and gifts for children
ages 12 through 16-- both boys and girls. Some firms give gift
certificates of $20/$25. Sporting equipment is also popular. There is also
a growing need for toys and gifts for infants and children ages 2 through
Day of the Party:
9 a.m. at
Synod Hall to help set up for the party.
Many volunteers are needed for the sorting and bagging of toys. We
will have approximately 275 families-- that means 275 bags of toys. The
first thing we do is sort the toys by ages. Families have registered by
calling the Society's Communications & Public Information Office,
providing the name of the family, the number of children, and the ages and
gender of the children. Toys are bagged per family and a copy of the
registration form is attached to the bag. After the bagging is completed,
the bags of toys are lined up to make the distribution process more
efficient. We bag by family in order to put in additional books and games
for the children to share as well as at least one gift for each child.
Decorating the tree and hall: Volunteers are
also needed to decorate the tree. We will also be decorating tables, the
hall etc. We need folks to make jelly and bread sandwiches.
Setting up Crafts Tables and Face Painting
Stations: We need volunteers to help get the crafts ready - cut
outs, decorate a few hand puppets. Setting up Food Tables: We need
volunteers to get the food tables set up.
Set up and
decorate Gift Distribution Areas: There is a registration sheet
for all families who have phoned in, which includes the name of the parent
and the ages and gender of the children. Families receive a copy of the
form when they enter Synod Hall and will present that form to pick up
their bag of toys. A copy of the registration form is attached to the
family's bag of toys. The sheets are orange, yellow or green to coordinate
with the gift distribution areas which are decorated in those colors. The
alphabet is divided into three-- thus the three colors. We have found,
over the years, that this is the most efficient system. It makes it easier
for both the families and the volunteers.
Party: Reception Table: We need 5 people (at least two Spanish
speaking) to register people when they come in. (We like to line up
alternates-so volunteers will have the opportunity to do a number of
things at the party.) We also need folks to help with traffic control.
Reception Area: Two people are needed to have
parents sign permission slips allowing The Legal Aid Society or
photographers authorized by the Society to take photographs of their
children. We have media coverage of this event. We also use photos in our
publications and on our website.
Polaroid Photos: The children love being
photographed with Santa Claus. Santa Claus (Bob
Pietrzak) has donated cameras and film so we can take photographs of the
children with Santa Claus that they can take with them. Bonnie Bonica from the Legal Aid staff will be working with
Painting: We have face painting equipment so we need volunteers
during the party to paint the faces of the children. This is a real
favorite with the children.
Craft Tables: Loads
of volunteers are needed to work with the children. We have all sorts of
crafts. The volunteers have as much fun as the children who really enjoy
the individual attention. The crafts tables are a major hit.
Food Tables: We need scores of people to serve
the soda and juice, to assist with the hot dogs (at least two people must
be bunning the dogs) and to help replenish the bags of cookies, the jelly
sandwiches and bags of potato chips. The little children often need help
with the ketchup and mustard. (We provide plastic gloves for the food
servers.) Close to the end of the party, I would appreciate a few
volunteers wrapping the remaining hot dogs in aluminum foil so families
can take them home.
Gift Distribution: We need
loads of volunteers to help with the gift distribution. Each distribution
center has it own team of volunteers.
Thanks for all your help. Please call or email with any
questions. Thanks, Pat
Director of Communications
The Legal Aid Society
199 Water Street
New York, NY