It’s time again for the annual Jacksonville Bar Association Holiday Project. For those of you who have not participated in the project in the past, each year members of the Jacksonville Bar Association (JBA) work together to bring a little holiday joy to senior citizens involved in the Jacksonville area Meals on Wheels Program. We have committed to delivering gifts to 500 senior citizens, so we will need your help to make this year’s project another great success.
Members participating in the project will receive a sponsor packet with instructions, materials and contact information for a senior involved in the Meals on Wheels program. Members may sponsor more than one senior, and office staff and family members are also welcome and encouraged to participate. Students from Florida Coastal School of Law are also invited to participate, and I am happy to note their strong involvement in years past has been a great help in making the project such a wonderful success. The project is a great introduction for students and attorneys who would like to become more involved in the JBA.
The sponsor packet you will receive contains a “Santa Wish List” which should be sent out to the seniors, so they can enjoy choosing what type of gift they would like to receive this year. As you will see, the suggested gifts are relatively modest in price (a new blanket, slippers, robe, toaster oven, etc.), but they will provide a great deal of happiness and comfort to the seniors in the year ahead. In these current difficult economic times, this small effort on your part may literally be the difference in helping a senior citizen in our area to stay warm for the winter.
Delivering the gift in person and meeting the senior participant can be the most rewarding part of the project, so each sponsor is encouraged to take the time to hand deliver the gift. This can usually be done during a lunch break or even on the way home from work, but whenever it is done, it will definitely be time well spent and a great experience you will never forget. Many project sponsors have developed long-lasting friendships with the seniors they initially sponsored and return to see them each year. Law firms in our area have also made delivering the gifts part of their annual holiday tradition. Just make sure you deliver your gift before Dec. 23.
If you are not able to deliver the gift in person, you may drop off the gift at the new JBA office located on the 13th floor of the Aetna Building. The gifts may be dropped off beginning Dec. 7 and no later than 2 p.m. on Dec. 18. Volunteers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will pick up the gifts and deliver them to the seniors. Please note that fruit baskets and other perishable items will need to be personally delivered and not dropped off at the JBA office.
If you are interested in participating this year, please give me a call at 398-0900 or send me an e-mail at [email protected] The holiday project committee will also be setting up a table at the JBA luncheon on Thursday so you can sign up there and pick up a sponsor packet. Once you have signed up and sent in your request indicating the number of seniors you would like to sponsor, you will be sent the contact information for the senior and a complete instruction packet explaining what you will need to do.
I strongly encourage everyone who has not yet been involved in this project to join the effort this year and sponsor a senior/Meals on Wheels participant. For those of you who have previously volunteered, I ask again for your support as the program would not be what it is today without your participation. Please take advantage of this opportunity to spread a little holiday joy and support our local bar organization. The immediate satisfaction and happiness you experience by giving will be one of the best presents you receive this year. See pledge form on page 6.