Suite-mates show philanthropy, encourage others to do the same

By Christine L. Mobley

Legal News

Once again, the generosity of Suite 111 is a beacon to those in need this holiday season and should be an example to all - and that's exactly what they're hoping to accomplish - to not only help those in need, but to ignite benevolence throughout the legal community.

Suite 111 is made up of several different attorneys who inhabit - of all places - Suite 111 in Stoneridge Complex at 40900 Woodward Ave in Bloomfield Hills.

"I think many are doing as much as they can to help the needy," Molly Taylor, office manager at Resnick & Moss PC, said of charitable giving.

However, she points out that this falls short because of so many different factors, including the past year's economy.

"The Department of Human Services-Oakland County is just crying out for sponsors to purchase gifts for either individual children or sponsor families for the holiday season," Taylor explained. "Many of the state cuts have directly impacted the foster children program. Much of the state's unemployment has directly impacted holiday giving."

According to Taylor, the suite stopped exchanging 'Secret Santa' and opted for greater charitable giving around the holidays.

Suite 111 has been sponsoring foster children so they could have a present on Christmas Day for a few years now. Additionally this year, the suite-mates also collected needed items for Marines in Afghanistan as a part of Operation Care Package Michigan.

This year, Suite 111 sponsored 12 foster children buying Christmas presents for children ages 5-months to 17 years old.

For the first couple of years, Suite 111 would simply donate a check to DHS to use as it saw fit, this is the second year where the suite-mates actually went out and purchased the gifts themselves for the foster children.

"I think you have a much larger emotional investment," Taylor said of purchasing the gifts. "You really think about the child and what their Christmas wishes are."

Oakland County DHS is extremely grateful for the generosity of those from Suite 111 and others.

"We wouldn't be able to do this without them," Elaine Medlen, Departmental analyst for Oakland County DHS, says. "Every little bit helps so we are just so thankful.

"I think this time of year - any time of year - these foster kids must be thrilled...I'm sure it just adds a little bit more excitement and that feeling of belonging. They're absolutely thrilled about receiving these gifts."

There were more than 500 foster children altogether who were sponsored this year. Next year, DHS hopes to expand the program to where needy families can be adopted by sponsors and opportunities will be offered throughout the year.

Happily sponsoring children this holiday were the firms and people of Suite 111:

* Resnick & Moss PC consisting of H. Nathan Resnick, president; Leigh Dones Moss, of counsel; Timothy Orlando; Sandra Alexander; Brian Rookard; Molly Taylor, office manager; Helen Levine, legal assistant; Joan Abdelnour, legal assistant; and Amanda Shamon, receptionist/ secretary.

* The Law Firm of Michael A. Bank, sole practitioner.

* Office of Susan E. Cohen, sole practitioner (Family Law) consisting of Susan E. Cohen; Angela Soderberg, legal assistant; and Catherine Douglas, paralegal.

* Office of Henry Gornbein consisting of Henry S Gornbein; Maryanne Noonan, associate; Wendy Golding, assistant; and Sandra Cowan, assistant.

* Office of Alisa Peskin-Shepherd consisting of Alisa Peskin-Shepherd and Ana Alfaro, assistant.

* Office of Leslie N. Greenwald.

* Office of Caroline Garmo.

* Jeff Van Loon of Jeffrey M. Van Loon PLLC.

"No matter how diverse the backgrounds, no matter how different they are as individuals, there's that one common thread - they all have such a good heart, such a generous spirit, and a genuine caring for people who are less fortunate," Taylor says of her suite-mates.

"(Charitable giving to Oakland County DHS) just doesn't have to be for Christmas," Taylor says. "These children fall through the cracks because there's only so much money in the budget. If anybody is willing to donate, at any time they should contact the Department of Human Services."

For more information on making donations to Oakland County DHS for foster children, contact Jill Anderson, DHS resource coordinator, at (248) 975-4815.

Published: Thu, Dec 30, 2010