For over 10 years, the Law Firm of Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates (“SZA”) has been participating in the Toys for Tots campaign during each holiday season. Last year for Christmas 2017, SZA tried something a bit different. The results have changed the lives of the crew members of SZA, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.
SZA’s wonderful receptionist, Lauren, gave birth to two children, a girl and a boy. Her son, Keegan, was born with severe special needs and as a result, he has been enrolled in Howard County Public Schools’ stellar educational facility known as The Cedar Lane School (http://cls.hcpss.org). This school educates students in a setting that fosters growth and development, while respecting the dignity of all students, allowing each student to develop skills which will enable them to reach optimum levels of functioning and independence. It is truly an amazing place!
Because some of the families of the students who attend this school have suffered financially in providing for their child’s needs, medical or otherwise, SZA has stepped in the lend some assistance. Recognizing that these families have found it difficult to provide for the basic needs of its family members, SZA has partnered with Hungry Harvest (www.hungryharvest.net) in providing fruits and vegetables to these struggling families.
Named in honor of Lauren’s son, SZA has initiated and operates the Keegan Ross Farmers’ Market, providing the needy families of The Cedar Lane School with wholesome produce. The entire costs of operating this farmers’ market are absorbed by SZA, so the regular delivery of the produce will be free to any and all families of need.
Additionally, this “marriage” of SZA, The Cedar Lane School and Hungry Harvest has led to making even more of an impact than just providing food to hungry families – it has led to jobs. People with disabilities have found and continue to find difficulties in getting employment opportunities. As a result of this relationship initiated by SZA, Hungry Harvest has provided jobs to graduates and current students of The Cedar Lane School to work in their distribution center, packing produce into delivery boxes for distribution in the greater community.
Founder and Managing Partner, Jason A. Shapiro, always made “giving back to the community” a central core value of his law firm since “hanging his own shingle” in 1994. Attorneys David Zwanetz and Justin Lake have joined Jason in this mission, recognizing that they are fortunate to be able to do what they do, and to help those with less fortune. SZA is excited to celebrate our one-year anniversary of operating the Keegan Ross Farmers’ Market, and plans to continue to help those in need, whether inside the courtroom or out!