McAfee & Taft elves help foster more joyful ‘Christmas for Kids’
Attorneys and staff in McAfee & Taft’s Tulsa office made this year’s holidays brighter for 90 area children as part of the annual “Christmas for Kids” toy drive. The program is a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) and the non-profit Tulsa Advocates for the Protection of Children.
‘The whole reason it got started was a way to help foster parents,” said Maura Browne, coordinator for Christmas for Kids. “Most of our foster parents have children of their own, Christmas is a very expensive time of the year, so it was started as a way to help them with the cost of Christmas and to support them with what they do. Foster parents are not paid a lot of money. People think they are, but I think the money that they get really just takes care of their special needs.”
The firm’s participation in this cause began when the office opened in 2008, with the already-established tradition being brought to McAfee & Taft by attorneys and staff joining the firm at that time.
McAfee & Taft trial lawyer Gerald Hilsher said the impact has grown from 25 kids in 2008 to 90 kids this year.
“The reason we’ve been so successful in growing our numbers is, of course, we’ve taken on some additional lawyers, and they’ve joined in to the celebration just like us oldsters, if you will,” said Hilsher. “But we also have a very pushy chief elf, Pam Mappin, who just cheerleads, and sometimes twists a few arms to make sure that we’re gonna meet those numbers.”
In addition to the “Christmas for Kids” toy drive, the attorneys and staff in the Tulsa office continued another annual tradition of sponsoring two families this year through Family and Children’s Services in Tulsa.
“It’s been a beautiful thing for all of us at the firm to get together and enjoy doing it, and enjoy continuing to increase that,“ Hilsher said. “Let me tell you, I hear time and time again that this is the best thing that we do at Christmas, and not we as a firm, but we as individuals do, and we have a tremendous amount of support from our support staff, our secretaries, legal assistants, the lawyers.”