Legal Aid Holiday Project
Each holiday season, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society adopts local families who need help finding some Christmas joy. The clients participating are families who have been assisted by one or more Legal Aid offices or projects with a legal issue related to family stability, such as housing, education, income dependability, family law, or health care. These families are living at or below 150% of the federal poverty line and are in need of assistance in purchasing gifts for the holidays.
Donors delivered their gifts personally, via courier, or even by Target Shoppers or Amazon by December 23rd. This year, the Society — with the help of SM&P and other law firms around the metro area — was able to assist 150 Families and 547 family members with gifts!
“We took our gifts directly to the family, a mother who worked seven days a week at McDonald’s and her mentally disabled 27-year-old daughter,” said SM&P assistant account manager, Melanie Frazier. “Our hearts were warmed to the core on seeing the disbelief then utter joy in their faces. The mother said she had never received a Christmas present before.” Melanie, who speaks Spanish, translated the heartfelt appreciation from both mother and daughter. The expressions of joy and teary eyes needed no translation.
“While visiting, we couldn’t help but notice this small family had almost nothing — very few pieces of furniture, not even a place to sit, and no holiday tree,” Melanie said. Going to a local retail store, a pre-lit tree and ornaments were purchased to put the proverbial bow on the present. “I feel like I’ve truly experienced Christmas this year,” Melanie added. “And it reminded me how blessed we really are.”
“Legal Aid serves a very important purpose in our communities all year,” said SM&P’s founding and managing partner, Mary Montgomery. “They truly deserve a holiday break. But instead, they work even harder and reach out to struggling families to gift them with a merry Christmas and hopeful 2022. We, as always, are privileged to team up with them to join in this wonderful tradition.”