McIntyre Law’s 2nd Annual Day of Kindness
Contemporary Christian artist Brandon Heath sings a song called “Give Me Your Eyes.” The chorus to the song says:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
This refrain permeates to the idea behind McIntyre Law’s “2nd Annual Day of Kindness.” It all started in 2010 when the firm’s Senior Partner, Noble McIntyre, decided to partner with a charitable organization to provide food for less fortunate Oklahomans. Initially, the plan was to provide a few hundred boxes of pre-packaged meals through Angel Food Ministries. However, this plan for a few hundred boxes soon changed after we let our intentions be known to other lawyers who are members of the Oklahoma Association for Justice. Soon we had financial commitments coming from all over the state that enabled us to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for over 4200 hungry Oklahomans.
For 2011, McIntyre Law had even bigger plans. With the help of personal injury lawyers throughout the state of Oklahoma, we began a plan to solicit donations with a goal of raising $50,000.00. With the help fellow Injury Board Members David Bernstein, Attorney at Law and Hugh Robert of Sherwood and McCormick, we formed a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization called “Lawyers Against Hunger.” It was decided that each firm would engage the lawyers in their area (Tulsa, Norman and Oklahoma City) for a fundraising contest.
Lawyers Against Hunger and its fundraising contest was announced to the legal community in September. The response was overwhelming. Soon we had donations pouring in from the legal community, local businesses and individuals. By mid-October, the organization had surpassed its goal and eventually raised over $60,000.00.
While several people gave thousands of dollars, one of the more touching monetary gifts came from an individual who had received one of the boxes during the 2010 give away. In early October he came through the doors at McIntyre Law and asked if he could give money to this year’s Thanksgiving food project. He related that last year his family was in desperate need and the meal was a true blessing to him and his family. He said that 2011 had been much better for his family and while he wasn’t rich he would like to give $20.00 to provide a turkey for a family. This simple act of giving is reminiscent of Mother Theresa’s quote “[I]t’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
On November 17, 2011, McIntyre Law shut down its offices in preparation for the giveaway. By 12:00 p.m. a huge line began to form. Like last year, McIntyre Law was not only giving away a Thanksgiving meal, we also fed hamburgers to every single person who came by. We grilled over 1600 hamburgers and provided free sodas to the crowd and volunteers. At 12:00 p.m., with the line of people and cars beginning to block traffic, we began to dispense the turkeys with the help of local attorneys, local 157 Firemen and United States Air Force Members. By 2:00 p.m. every turkey was gone. We began giving away boxes of hamburger patties and other food items to families who kept coming despite all the turkeys being gone.
Throughout the day we had the opportunity to meet many of the individuals and families that arrived for a turkey. The stories we heard were heartbreaking, powerful and truly humbled us. One young mother related that she recently quit her job to care for her autistic child. She had two other healthy children along with her autistic daughter. While she and her husband knew it would be tough, they had budgeted so that they could continue to provide the necessities to their children and home. Sadly, her husband lost his job shortly after she quit hers. All of a sudden the family, which always had been able to provide for its needs, was in a nightmare where they were struggling to put a healthy meal in front of their children. The mother was certain that this year was going to be the first year in her childrens’ lives that they would not be able to have a Thanksgiving meal. Fortunately she heard from a friend about the 2011 2nd Annual Day of Kindness at McIntyre Law. Her gratitude was overwhelming and she tearfully thanked everyone she could find. She and her children spent over an hour at our office meeting fireman, eating hamburgers and of course receiving a turkey. In asking her what this meal meant to her, she simply broke down in tears and said “God bless you guys.”
While we know the individuals who received a turkey feel blessed, we often wonder whether they know how much they have touched and blessed our lives. The attorneys and staff at McIntyre Law are blessed in that our eyes are opened to the broken hearted and we hope that the needy in our community know they are not forgotten. They not only touched our hearts, they also provide a reminder of the role we can play in the broken hearted we represent after their lives have been irreparably harmed in an accident.
Thank you Oklahoma City.