The Gift of Giving

With the holidays right around the corner, most of us are busy buying presents for loved ones, drinking hot chocolate in front of a warm fireplace and watching cheerful holiday movie classics. As you start making your list of all the holiday festivities you will be participating in, remember to add one item to your list: help someone less fortunate than you. This time of year is the perfect time to give back to your community. In addition to an unlimited number of charities to donate to this December, there are many local toy drives, meal preparation and special event volunteering opportunities to choose from. Recently, we learned about some of the things our clients are doing to support the community, and we’re honored to give a shout-out and celebrate the charitable work they are doing!

Noelle Minto, Esq., NM Law
Noelle Minto, Esq., is the founder of NM Law. Located in Tustin, California, the firm specializes in estates and trusts, which includes trust litigation. Noelle donates both time and money to valuable organizations in Orange County because she feels it’s important to put compassion into practice; to go out and help those who are hurting and make things better. Not only is her firm dedicated to providing pro bono work for select cases, they also donate 1% of their gross revenues to 3 local charities. The clients who have spent a certain amount of funds in that given year get to direct which of the three charities their 1% goes to. These charities include:

    1. Tustin Community Foundation
      This foundation caters to the needs of residents in the greater Tustin area. From the environment, the arts, youth, seniors, or education, this organization provides more than 80 community-wide programs.

      Noelle serves as a board member for the Tustin Community Foundation and is on the grant approval committee. A recent focus of theirs has been working on the massive food shortage for senior citizens who cannot afford to purchase food due to medical bills and other expenses.
    2. Pauly’s Project
      Music is a true life-changer. For Paul Avila’s son, Pauly, who was born blind and autistic, this couldn’t be truer, as music was the only thing that could calm him down. Inspired by his son’s reaction to music, Paul created Pauly’s Project, which now provides meals, headsets, hygiene products and musical entertainment to the homeless.

      Noelle donates to this great cause annually.
    3. CASA OC
      Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Orange County, otherwise known as CASA OC, serves approximately 800 children annually who move through the court system as a direct cause of abuse and neglect.

      Noelle has been a CASA volunteer, where she would be matched with a CASA child and act as a mentor and advocate for their needs. She now provides financial support to the organization.

Noelle and her team select different organizations to support on a routine basis, but always make sure each non-profit tackles a different community need: children, senior citizens, homelessness and other issues facing the local community. For Noelle, gratitude is at the center of why she gives back.

“I recognize all that this community has done for me and my business and am extremely thankful for all that we have been able to achieve,” said Noelle. “There’s no better way to show your gratitude for your community than by giving back to it.”

Lindsay Ayers, Esq., Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger, LLP
Lindsay Ayers is a partner at the law firm, Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger, LLP, yet in her spare time, she’s giving back to the Pacific Symphony. This non-profit organization is not just a world-class orchestra, they also provide a variety of educational programs for the youth of Orange County. These educational programs include the following:

  • Frieda Belinfante Class Act Program
    This program works with Orange County elementary schools to enhance their music program through the education of symphonic music and contact with Pacific Symphony.
  • Arts-X-press Program
    Designed for middle school-age kids, this program focuses on teaching students in Orange County to express themselves creatively through music.
  • Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles (PSYE) Program
    One of the largest pre-professional musical training programs in the nation, the PSYE program teaches, nurtures and inspires young musicians in grades 6 through 12.  

Ever since she was a child, music has been one of Lindsay’s passions. Growing up in Los Angeles, she would frequently attend Glendale Symphony concerts and concerts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Hollywood Bowl. Once she moved to Orange County, her love for symphonic music continued to grow as she started attending Pacific Symphony’s concerts and became more involved in the music community.

Lindsay has been a member of the Pacific Symphony’s Board of Directors for five years, but prior to joining, she approached one of her friends on the board to pitch an idea of curating unique events around the concerts for people who had a passion for music. The idea was to provide something that would allow the next generation of concert-goers and music lovers to enjoy the Pacific Symphony concerts in conjunction with happy hours, backstage tours, meet-and-greets with the artists and more. This morphed into what’s now called the Symphony Social Society, which is a group of young professionals who share a love for music. Members receive discounted ticket pricing and special invites to their curated events.

Lindsay is honored to work with the Pacific Symphony in its mission to provide music education for youth that would otherwise be canceled.

“It’s always a good feeling to give back. Whether it’s providing opportunities for the youth orchestra to play at our events or helping fund their trip to China, it brings me so much joy to see the program flourish,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay has also been a strong supporter of WISEPlace and a member of United Way’s ‘Women Looking Forward,’ an organization created for young professional women who are actively interested in supporting their communities through volunteerism and contributions.

Chad Brandel, Esq., Law & Stein, LLP
Ever since Chad Brandel, associate attorney at Law & Stein, LLP, was a child, he has loved going to the Ocean Institute. Located in Dana Point, the organization gives its visitors the opportunity to explore the ocean sciences through their 60+ marine-based programs.

Their programs had such an impact on him as a child that he even wanted to become a marine biologist at one point! This past year, he took his children to experience the Ocean Institute, saw how much they enjoyed it and wanted to help bring its programs to as many kids as possible. That’s when he decided to join the organization’s development committee.

The Ocean Institute’s development committee was put together to help the organization develop relationships with donors and sponsors so that more kids can take advantage of their educational services.

“There are so many underprivileged kids who don’t have access to the ocean, let alone have the opportunity to get on a boat and go whale watching or experience any of the other great educational programs they have,” said Chad. “By having the development committee, we’re working to expand the Ocean Institute’s funding so that the next generation has the opportunity to be exposed to ocean literacy and maybe fall in love with a field of study they had no idea about.”

The best way to support the Ocean Institute is by visiting! Whether it’s their touch tank, child exhibits or adult exhibits, the organization provides plenty of educational experiences for people of all ages. The more visitors they have, the bigger the impact they can make on the community. To learn more about the organization, click here.

Chad, Lindsay and Nicole are just three of our magnanimous clients who go the extra mile to give back to their communities in meaningful ways. We are honored to serve them and their clients!

It doesn’t matter how you choose to give back, the most important thing is that you give with a full heart. This season is all about spreading joy to those around you; what better way to do that than by getting involved in a philanthropy that needs your support and that lightens your own heart? If you’re looking for ways to make an impact on your community, click here for some local organizations and opportunities that could use your help.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Community, Holidays.