SWMW Law puts a high priority on putting people first, and in December, attorneys and staff members teamed up with St. Louis-based Food Outreach to do just that.

Volunteers joined the dedicated team at Food Outreach to work in their Nutrition Center, which provides made-from-scratch meals and groceries for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or cancer. The team prepared clients’ grocery orders, stocked shelves, and assisted with cleaning needs.

“Our firm is committed to our clients and to supporting the communities we call home,” said SWMW Member Ben Schmickle. “Our firm believes it’s not only our social responsibility to share our time and resources with those who need it – it’s something we’re passionate about doing. We look forward to working with more organizations in the New Year.”

Always looking for ways to put into practice its mission statement “Because People Matter,” the firm was proud to lend a hand with such important work.

“Volunteering alongside Ben (Schmickle), one of our founding members, really put into perspective how much our firm values giving back and stands behind our mission statement,” said Bankruptcy Trust Manager Allison Storr. “To see someone in his position who is incredibly busy with work and family life make the time to volunteer, fill grocery bags and take them to clients’ cars, made me incredibly proud to be a part of this team.”

For the employees who volunteered, the experience is one they look forward to repeating.

“Honestly, this was an amazing experience,” said Paralegal Stacy Berding. “Before this, I didn’t know anything about Food Outreach, and seeing how organized and thorough everything was, along with the scope of what they offer their clients – it really emphasized how important their work is to this community.”

“I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity,” added paralegal Abigail Wells. “Getting involved in your community is so important, especially in the line of work that we do. We can’t effectively serve our community if we don’t know our community.”

Several volunteers were so moved by the experience that they’re already looking forward to coming back.

“I’m not sure what I was expecting going into it, but it exceeded my expectations,” said client liaison Lindsay Kelley. “A couple friends and I have discussed having a ‘girls night’ where we volunteer during the day and end with dinner together. I’m already looking forward to it.”

Food Outreach Development Manager Alyssa Hilderbrand, who is charge of coordinating volunteer opportunities, said the group is always looking for volunteers and encourages others to get involved. Shifts are available from Monday through Saturday and are open to both individuals and groups.

“Volunteering is so important because we are all in this together,” Hilderbrand said. “All communities in the area need help, and donating your time is an amazing way to do so. We have had volunteers from SWMW Law before and everyone is always so kind and helpful – we would love to have more groups follow in their footsteps.”

To view available volunteer opportunities, visit www.foodoutreach.volunteerhub.com. Any additional questions or inquiries into group opportunities can be directed to Hilderbrand at [email protected]. For more information, including their mission statement and additional ways to get involved, visit their website at www.foodoutreach.org.