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MKSD Invokes the Spirit of Giving

Christmas Giving Pic

After hearing about a program that Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., our attorneys, began with their employees, Silvia, Todd and Jill were inspired to initiate something similar at MKSD this year to celebrate the spirit of giving at Christmas.

In lieu of spending money on corporate gifts, every MKSD employee was given $100 to donate in their name to the charity of their choice . The adage, “Tis better to give than to receive” definitely proved true as each of the staff members decided which of their favorite charities to support and the spirit of giving came alive around the office.

Here is a list of the charities each team member chose and their reasons why:

          Susan – Autism Speaks       

“My personal reason for choosing Autism Speaks is my nephew Tanner. He is an incredible 20-year-old who was diagnosed around the age of 3 with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. My sister has had to be his advocate throughout his education and has learned so much by trial and error. Autism Speaks is a resource for families to help guide them through their journey. Their mission is: ‘Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow’.”

         Nick – Lily’s Hope Foundation

“I wanted to donate to the Lily’s Hope Foundation because of their mission statement to support babies, children, and their families with unexpected and urgent needs due to premature birth.  Our twins were born pre-maturely, and needed NICU attention.  The attentiveness and care provided by the NICU staff   helped our children tremendously during those critical first days of their lives, which led to us being able to take them home shortly afterwards.  Some families are not as lucky, and are not prepared for their child’s early arrival.  The Lily’s Hope Foundation supports NICU families by providing them with essential needed items since they have been unable to fully prepare for a premature birth.  These include items that can often be expensive and difficult to find.  Even a small amount of assistance can be an enormous help to a set of new parents, who want nothing more than to care-for, protect, and love the new addition to their lives.”

       Alicia – Valley Youth House

Valley Youth House is my charity of choice this year because this organization works for children, teens, and families throughout the Lehigh Valley. They provide a wide array of services for neglected & abused children, as well as special programs, including Camp Fowler – a therapeutic recreation adventure that has helped over 20,000 clients. My husband, family & I recently participated in a 5K run/walk in Bethlehem sponsored by Dream Live Prosper/DLP Realty where all proceeds were donated to Valley Youth House.”

       John – Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center (PWRC) serves Monroe, Lehigh, Northampton, Wayne, Pike, and Luzerne Counties. Caring for and releasing orphaned or injured wildlife, including bear cubs, coyote pups, fox, bald eagles, hawks, and owls–as well as raccoons, skunks, rabbits, opossums, kestrel and songbirds–is all in a day’s work for PWRC. As of November 15th, they have treated and/or cared for 2300 animals this year and still counting. 

The organization also strives to provide education to the public about the importance of, and ways in which we can coexist with, the rich diversity of wildlife native to Pennsylvania. Thousands of students, tourists, scouts, teachers, homeowners, seniors and others attend PWRCs education programs annually. 

Check out their website for photos and videos of wildlife released back into the wild after being rehabilitated.”     

Silvia – Angel 34    

Angel 34 was started by Nicole Sheriff after she was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 13. I’m humbled by this young girl who while suffering through her own battle with cancer selflessly thought of other children and what she could do to help them. We should all aspire to this level of love for others, especially children.”

Jessica – Make-a-Wish Foundation     

As a parent, you learn quickly that small things make the most impact in a child’s life. A wish granted by Make a Wish could help a child who is battling a life-threatening illness, if even for a moment, to forget about the day to day of their illness and simply enjoy being a kid.”

Joudi – Karam Foundation

The brutal, five-year old Syrian conflict has affected 80% of Syria’s children, 8.4 million child, inside and outside the country, are in need of humanitarian aid, and millions have borne witness to unrelenting violence from the brutal conflict that began more than five years ago.

2.6 million children are no longer in school and more than 2.5 million are living as refugees in neighboring countries or on the run in search of safety, helping to fuel a global migrant crisis. Syria is now the world’s biggest producer of both internally displaced people and refugees. Many children have spent several bitter winters living in makeshift shelters without adequate protection from the cold.

For these children, what’s at stake isn’t politics. It’s their future. Having already lost their homes, schools and communities, their chances of building a future may also soon be lost. 

This is why I chose to contribute to the “Innovative Education’’ program, that Karam Foundation has provided and been hardly working on to help these children get the education they need and deserve.

I believe that any small donation from each one of us can help saving the life and the future of a young child.”

Christian – Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

I was drawn to get involved with the AFA because they’re a strong organization with a lot of outreach efforts to help alleviate the urgent need for care for individuals with dementia and their families.  As someone who requires sharpness of memory and intellect to complete my job every day here at MKSD, nothing is scarier than the prospect of losing my orientation to the world. This is a disease that can reach any of us – our parents, grandparents, and friends.  From free memory screenings to training for families caring for their loved ones, AFA is actively involved in improving the lives of Alzheimer’s patients every day.”

Scott – Animals in Distress (Coopersburg)  

“I have always had a soft spot for abandoned/neglected dogs, especially during the winter months when far too many are left to survive on their own in the elements.  I thank the hardworking people at Animals In Distress, and all animal shelters across the country, that help forgotten animals in their time of need.  With this donation, I hope it provides a belly full of food, a warm blanket to sleep on, a happy tail wag from a new toy, or even a “forever home” this Christmas.”

Brie – Wildlands Conservancy         

I chose the Wildlands Conservancy because they are a local organization that provides a lot of educational nature experiences for Lehigh Valley children.  They are also working to improve the water quality in local streams, including the Monocacy creek, which runs behind our house.”

Todd – Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley

I chose to support the Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley because my kids have benefitted from the experience of playing organized baseball and it is important to me that kids who would otherwise be considered incapable of playing baseball have the opportunity to do so.  Miracle League makes that possible!”

Jill- Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

I chose to donate to Breast Cancer because my family has been affected by breast cancer over the years.   My grandmother passed away when I was 5 years old from a long struggle with breast cancer, and more recently my aunt was diagnosed.   Just in the 30 years between their stories, so much advancement has happened in detection and treatment, and I wanted to support the cause in hopes that many more can survive this disease!”

Jason – Manito Equestrian and Life Centers

“My niece Mackenzie is a delightful young lady who started riding at Manito eight months ago. Mackenzie has Cerebral Palsy, which affects her balance and the muscle tone throughout her body. She requires the use of a wheelchair to get around. When Mackenzie first started riding, she had a team of 7 people just to keep her upright on the horse. She was unable to sit in the saddle due to her muscle tone and was in a great deal of pain. With unshakeable resolve, she was determined to do whatever it took to be able to ride the horse (Raven) fully seated in the saddle and to one day ride independently. I am so happy to report that just two months later she was able to sit in her saddle and three months later she rode independently for the first time! The physical changes in Mackenzie are amazing. But even more amazing is the change in her spirit. She went from being extremely depressed and feeling that her life had no direction or purpose to being a bright and vibrant individual with dreams of competitions and a future- possibly working at Manito! Donations make it possible for Manito to carry on their mission of healing those with special needs. Mackenzie always says, “Raven gives me legs to go anywhere any other person can go. I am free when I am on her.” It has truly changed her life.” 

Ray – Children’s Dyslexia Center of Allentown

I chose the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Allentown because of its ongoing success in helping local children overcome the obstacles of dyslexia, allowing them to learn to process language and communication skills that most of us take for granted. All of this is done free of charge through donations. I first learned of the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Allentown through my affiliation with Scottish Rite Freemasonry and am happy to be able to help in a small way. Thank you to MKSD!”