If there is one thing I have learned from my experience at Harrison Pensa, it is this: When you work at HP, you are a member of the London community.
Harrison Pensa prides itself on identifying with a long tradition of community involvement. Our lawyers sit on local boards, volunteer, educate, and regularly organize community charity events and fundraisers. We also host a variety of internal charitable initiatives throughout the year. Just last month, our articling student team put together a series of inter-office fundraisers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Last night provided me with another exciting opportunity to get closer to our community. As a lucky member of Harrison Pensa articling team, I was given the opportunity to serve a warm dinner to children at the Boys and Girls Club of London to kick off their Twelve Days of Christmas!
After work, our articling team headed over to the BGC with a few associates and a lot of enthusiasm. We were all assigned different roles: As the kids poured in, Lauren Frijia and Hayden Trbizan provided them all with their very own BGC T-shirts. Katie Warwick and her fashionable Santa hat would excitedly direct them all towards the dining room, where Jason DiFruscia and BGC’s William worked tirelessly to plate dozens of meals. As the kids took their seats, Omar Chahbar and I donned our aprons and delivered plates to each table. The kids were so excited!
More potatoes, no potatoes. More gravy, less gravy (less gravy?!). Back and forth we went, table to table, kid to kid. We worked together with BGC’s resident volunteer staff to make sure that every child left the dining room with a full belly and a smile. After dinner, the kids went back to Katie, who directed them to their next Christmas activity – the hat tree, run by Derek Hambly and Josh Murray. It’s exactly what you think it is, only better: a Christmas tree with a hand-knit wool cap on every branch. The kids’ faces lit up as they grabbed a warm new hat for themselves and their siblings.
It was at this point that the cavalry came in to help us clean: Lauren and Hayden, fresh from sizing and dispersing new threads for every kid who walked through the door. Finally, when every head had a nice new wool cap, the kids went back to Katie for one last activity – putting up decorations and filling Santa’s mailbox with their Christmas wishes.
As if the experience wasn’t rewarding enough, we didn’t leave empty-handed either. Every volunteer walked away with a handmade Christmas ornament and a card signed by kids we met that evening. Last night’s fun and hard work brought us all closer together as a team. Beyond that, it showed me – a transplant from Windsor – that being a member of the HP team and being a member of this incredible London community are an inseparable tandem.
Clayton Brent is an articling student at Harrison Pensa. Clayton attended law school at the University of Windsor. He also has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Windsor, where he received the highest average in the program. He has past experience working as a court reporter for Beryl MacMillan in Windsor, and is a passionate supporter of the Red Shoe Society and Ronald McDonald House.