Don’t Grinch Up Some Kid’s Christmas, Counselor

As a holiday public service announcement, Legal Pad reminds lawyers taking part in the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Head Start Holiday Gift Program that now’s the time to make good. As many as 2,034 kids throughout the Bay Area are expecting to receive presents this year from lawyers and staff at about 30 of the city’s law firms. So don’t let the child you picked to be the one left out! For the most part, lawyers are pretty good at remembering.    

Western Messenger Service delivers the gifts to the Head Start programs for free, and it’s no small load. Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal partner Paul Glad says he’s been involved with the program since its inception over 15 years ago, and the big bundle just keeps getting larger. It’s not uncommon for a classroom to receive three-dozen 30-pound packages, he says.

Glad should know. He started the program in San Francisco after Sonnenschein lawyers in Chicago answered children’s “letters to Santa? delivered to the U.S. Post Office. The Chicago lawyers hand-delivered their gifts to kids all over the city, and even traipsed to the then-notorious Cabrini Green Housing complex.

Back in S.F., Glad struck on the idea of enlisting Head Start classes. He called his program “Subordinate Claus” and dressed up as Santa to deliver the presents at the kids’ annual party. Today, the program operates as the Bar Association of San Francisco under the more serviceable title “Holiday Gift Program.”

Anybody wishing to make an early commitment for next year’s gift-giving effort should contact Jayne Salinger, director of special projects for BASF, at (415) 782-8910.

— Marie-Anne Hogarth

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