Some of my favorite Christmas memories do not include the latest designer gifts (shh! Don’t tell my husband!), but instead moments spent with family and friends. Each year, many of us look forward to gathering together with loved ones to connect with each other by sharing all the holidays have to offer. However, 2020 has been a particularly challenging year for everyone. Social distancing is threatening to disconnect us, lost income brings unique hardships, illness or the loss of a loved one is a major life change, and exposing anyone to this virus is a constant fear. On top of it all, in an effort to collectively employ risk mitigation techniques to slow the spread of the virus, the holidays seem impossible. It is during lean times, like these, that it becomes more important than ever to identify ways to give back to your community, in any way possible.
Although the hardships 2020 weigh heavy, it is crucial to remember that the “most wonderful time of the year” has always been what you make of it. Even during these trying times you can make a difference in the life of another. Holiday cheer and kindness are contagious, so let’s challenge ourselves as this year comes to a close to be even more generous than in other, more bountiful years.
Let me encourage you to take out a pen and paper and write down 10 people for whom you can do something this holiday season; ask yourself what can you do today, this week, or this month to sprinkle some kindness into these last days of their challenging 2020 year. There are many opportunities to give back to the community this season. Here are seven ways Mazaheri Law Firm has given back this season, and we encourage you to join us:
1. Donate Blood or Plasma. With hospitals full and COVID-19 numbers at an all-time high, this is the most important time to give blood or donate plasma…especially if you are possessed of the coveted antibodies. More information on how to give blood or donate plasma can be found on the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s website: www.obi.org.
2. Adopt a Family. Another way to give back this season is to help provide for those in need. Many of our neighbors have lost jobs or have businesses affected by the economic impact of the pandemic and simply cannot provide for their family. Use your child’s school or church to find a family that may be struggling and assist them in providing a Christmas for their family. Additionally, organizations like The Angel Tree help provide Christmas gifts for families in the metro by allowing you to “adopt a family” through the YWCA, or volunteer to help wrap and distribute gifts. More information can be found on the YWCA’s website: www.ywcaokc.org.
3. Donate Money or In-Kind Gifts to a Non-Profit Organization. Many charity organizations have suffered financial losses as donor and fundraising events have been canceled due to the risk posed by COVID-19. Many people have suffered financially, physically, and mentally during 2020 as the effects of COVID 19 have changed everyday life in many ways. Charities who provide food, clothing, mental health resources, care for domestic violence victims, and shelters need us more than ever. Consider making a monetary donation to your favorite charity this year. Mazaheri Law Firm has chosen to donate to the YWCA of Oklahoma City this year, as they had to cancel their yearly “Women Who Care Share” luncheon and needed assistance for victims of domestic violence.
4. Consider a Gift that Gives Back. Oklahoma Lawyers for Children published a cookbook chock full of recipes from the fiercest advocates. Proceeds benefit this worthy non-profit organization. Mazaheri Law Firm and other community members have sponsored and contributed to this cookbook, which will be the perfect holiday gift for anyone wanting to see what OKC Lawyers can do in the kitchen, as opposed to the courtroom.
5. Donate your Time. One of our favorite ways to give this season is by volunteering at Dinner with Love. Dinner with Love is a local foundation that provides holiday dinners for families in Oklahoma City who may not be able to provide a traditional holiday meal for themselves. This year, there are two separate dates and three locations to pick up dinners in Oklahoma City. Volunteers may pick up dinners and deliver the meals personally to a family. Although the meals are typically cooked and delivered warm, this year they will be uncooked with limited contact to the recipients to ensure safe COVID-19 protocols are followed. Those who are not able to volunteer are encouraged to donate: www. dinnerwithlove.org.
6. Pay it Forward...in kindness, benefiting people in your everyday life or people you hardly know. By mentoring a new lawyer through OCU Law’s mentorship program, showing a new attorney around the courthouse, donating to the OCBA YLD’s Harvest Food Drive, or simply checking on fellow attorneys and providing encouragement, you may make a considerable difference in the way that a current or future client is represented. In fact, you can pay it forward to anyone through small actions like a handwritten note, a Starbucks coffee, paying for a stranger’s groceries, giving a compliment to a friend, or even a simple text can positively impact someone’s day. During this holiday season of unprecedented isolation, be the sunshine that brightens someone’s otherwise gloomy day.
7. Give Grace. As lawyers, we are trained to be fighters and do what is necessary to win. This can include a lack of patience and compassion with others, emotional reactions and other “imperfections.” I would challenge you to remember that the entire world is going through an unprecedented time and that everyone is grappling with their own struggles. Give grace to those trying their best to keep it together, just as you are.
Use that list of 10 people to whom you show kindness to change the lives of many. Remember, each act of kindness may just be the thing that cures someone’s worst day of the year. During the last days of 2020, let’s focus on spreading kindness and usher that positive energy into a brave new year.