Soft Cookies and WarmHearts The Holiday Traditions ThatMake This Season Great
T he end of the year is a busy time for our law firm, but we always find time to celebrate together! Every year — thanks to the thoughtfulness of our very own DJ Wik — our office does a cookie exchange. Each member of our team prepares and brings in a batch of cookies to share with the office, and we all take home a collection of goodies. Of course, there’s a little friendly competition over who can make the best cookie, but we are all most excited about taking home a tinful of delicious treats. The best part is there isn’t a bad one in the bunch! While we anxiously await another tasty baked good swap, we wanted to share two holiday traditions from our team members, Michael Hill and Craig Hersch. We believe these traditions are too good not to share The Hill Family: Feeding Our Community, One Meal at a Time Our family was introduced to Meals of Hope’s Holidays Without Hunger event through our children’s elementary school about six years ago. Meals of Hope works with communities across the nation to eliminate hunger in the U.S. through food packaging events, a food pantry, and meal programs for children. Holidays Without Hunger is one of Meals of Hope’s biggest events. This year the goal is to pack 1 million meals in two hours! My family is honored to take part in this tradition for the past six years, and it’s one of our favorite ways to kick off the holidays. Every Christmas Eve, my wife, our kids, and I join thousands of other volunteers to package meals for those who are in need. The event includes fun Christmas caroling across tables, and it’s a great opportunity for us to connect with our community.
As my kids reach their teenage years, I’m sure they would much rather be sleeping in during their winter break, but by the end of the event every year, I can tell it’s been an eye- opening experience for all of us. The event teaches our kids
that we are lucky to live a privileged life, and even the smallest actions can have lasting impacts. I’m proud that we take the opportunity to give back to the community we care so much about every Christmas Eve.
The Hersch Family: The Power of a Home-Cooked Meal
Much like Mike and his family, we were introduced to a family tradition through one of our daughters’ school projects. While our daughters were still living at home, my wife, our three girls, and I would prepare a holiday meal for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. If you’re unfamiliar with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, it offers lodging and support services for families who have children battling chronic illnesses. It’s a fight no parent ever wants their child to have to battle, but the Southwest Florida house provides families with a haven of support and a place to stay near to their children who are fighting in nearby hospitals. The cost of medical bills, meals, and other various everyday needs can become unmanageable during this time, so our family joined dozens of other volunteers to do our part to make the process just a little easier. It isn’t until you go through something as harrowing as a cancer diagnosis and treatment that you realize how far a homecooked meal can go. My family is not unfamiliar with the stress and emotions that come with this awful disease. My mom suffered from and later succumbed to leukemia. After supporting her through this disease, this opportunity held a special meaning for our family. I hope we were able to touch a few lives. If we can bring even just a little bit of peace to a family’s life by offering a home-cooked meal, well, then we are more than happy to do it.
From our big, extended Sheppard Law Firm family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season!
– Craig and Mike
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