Last week was Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that aims to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. SWMW Law was an enthusiastic participant in this initiative, but for them, one day of giving wasn’t enough.
Thirty-one attorneys and employees collectively volunteered 140 hours across six events last week, supporting the important missions of two St. Louis organizations who work tirelessly to care for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“As a firm, we are dedicated to both our clients and our community,” said Member Lauren Williams, who volunteered alongside employees last week. “Our people-first approach makes us passionate about giving our clients a voice in the legal system and doing everything we can to ensure our neighbors in the community succeed.”
For three days, volunteers worked alongside the devoted staff of Food Outreach, a nonprofit organization that works to provide nutritional support to men, women, and children living with HIV or cancer. Their comprehensive program includes preparing meals from scratch for clients, as well as providing fresh fruits, vegetables, and shelf-stable grocery items; individualized dietetic counseling and nutrition/cooking education classes; and more. Volunteers worked in the kitchen to prepare meals, help with laundry, stock shelves, clean, and unload and organize pallets of donated items. Their work will aid countless clients who rely on Food Outreach for nutrition and support.
Volunteers also worked last week across three days to help ensure nearly 2,000 St. Louis-area children in foster care will have presents to open this holiday season. In conjunction with the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis’s Motion for Kids program, the firm’s attorneys and support staff from both St. Louis and Pittsburgh offices “adopted” 60 children, purchasing them holiday gifts and clothing items from their provided wish-lists. Volunteers helped to collect and organize thousands of gifts donated by the St. Louis legal community for the program, which culminated Saturday with a holiday party for the children. This year marked the 10th consecutive year the firm has participated in the Motion for Kids program.
SWMW Law is no stranger to supporting its friends and neighbors in the community. After working at larger firms for many years, the firm’s founding partners opened SWMW Law in 2012 with a mission to take a more personal approach to helping asbestos victims and consumers. That people-first approach extends from the courtroom to our communities.
“At its core, our firm’s ultimate goal is putting people first,” Williams said. “Philanthropy is an extension of our values and our guiding principle: Because People Matter. We strongly believe it is not only our social responsibility to share our success and time with others who need it – it’s something we’re passionate about doing.”
Since 2020, employees have volunteered close to 2,500 hours in support of organizations that share the firm’s mission of putting people first. Those hours have been spent helping to build community gardens, cook meals for the unhoused and those battling cancer, provide holiday gifts for children in foster care, promote diversity in the arts and in the workplace, provide support for area veterans, and so much more. In 2022, the firm’s efforts were recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal, who recognized SWMW Law as one of the most philanthropic businesses in St. Louis.
“Our leadership team is incredibly proud of the firm-wide enthusiasm our employees exhibit when it comes to serving our community,” Williams continued. “Their willingness to go the extra mile for others truly reflects the people-first culture we’ve worked to develop as a firm. No matter their situation, we remain committed to seeing all of our neighbors flourish and succeed.”
In addition to Williams, those who volunteered their time last week include: Lauren Long, Kahla Henry, Lorraine Micheo, Stacy Berding, Ashley Thomas, Lindsay Kelley, William Jones, Crystal Norwood, Abigail Wells, Lainey Ketcherside, Rebecca Holley, Billie Gray, Courtney Gass, Sophia Zamudio, Jasmine Barge, Partner Sophie Zavaglia, Alexa Spradling, Sherrell Sherman, Alyssa Hunziker, Associate Katrina Hudson, Jackie Zitin, McKenzie Chin, Joe Jordan, Rachel Morris, Associate Nathan Livingston, Associate Emma Sikora Paulus, Ashley Solomon, Allison Storr, Jennifer Adney-Schelle, Laura Soehngen, and Ashley McDonald.