The Marketing and Recruitment Departments of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., participated in the annual, national United Way Day of Action. As part of NM Cares, the group joined the United Way of Northern New Jersey at the Somerset County Ted Blum 4-H Center in Bridgewater to “Take Action for ALICE® Kids.”
Each year on June 21, the first day of summer and longest day of the year, the regional United Ways across the country organize a community-wide day of service. With more daylight hours than any other day, the summer solstice is the ideal time to let actions speak louder than words. By hosting the nationwide volunteer day, United Way fulfills its mission by mobilizing the caring power of thousands of people in each community.
The United Way of Northern New Jersey (UWNNJ) focused their 2018 Day of Action efforts on helping local ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families and their children, who make up the 26 percent of residents who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation. Building on a project initiated in 2009 at UWNNJ, United Ways in several other states have joined the ALICE® Project. Together, this movement aims to stimulate a fresh, nonpartisan, national dialogue about the importance and fragility of this segment of the population. United Ways involved also plan to use the statistical information they gather about the affected families as the framework for their work in improving their residents’ lives and strengthening their communities.
UWNNJ volunteers assembled “ALICE® Healthy Food Action Kits,” an assortment of healthy snacks and easy-access meals, information to promote healthy eating, and a water bottle, and “ALICE® Literacy Action Kits.” The kits, including two books, bookmarks and flashcards handmade by the volunteers, pencils, crayons, activity and coloring books, and reading guides for parents, all in a backpack creatively designed by the volunteers, were distributed to elementary school-age ALICE® children at nonprofit partners within the community. The kits help children from ALICE® families this summer to maintain their reading and literacy skills with new books and activities and maintain their food security through access to healthy food items and snacks, while teaching the families and community members how ALICE® families struggle to make ends meet.
As part of the Norris McLaughlin, P.A. Wellness Program, the NM Cares initiative was created to encourage employees to take an active role in charitable activities that better the community. Under NM Cares, the firm grants each of its employees paid time off equal to one work day each year exclusively for charitable work. The firm and its attorneys have historically been committed to the communities where our clients live and do business – to make them better places to live, work, and play. Attorneys have held prominent leadership positions in various organizations throughout the areas the firm serves and many of them have been honored for the work they do in the community. For example, the firm has been named a “Champion of Good Works” as one of the “Companies that Care” by COMMERCE Magazine.