Law School Community Strives to Help Those in Need
Web Editor - Published: December 12, 2008
OperationWarmWith Christmas nearing, members of the Widener Law Community are offering a helping hand to those in need. The annual Widener Law Center and Clinic Adopt a Family Program has chosen three deserving families in need to provide with food, clothing, and toys for Christmas. In addition, the Legal Education Institute and the Student Legal Association have teamed with Wilmington radio station WJBR FM to support Operation Warm, a drive to provide new winter coats to children in need.

The Adopt a Family Program offers members of the Widener Law community a wonderful opportunity to give a child hope by demonstrating that you care. You can make a difference while doing your shopping this Holiday season by picking up some clothing or a toy for one of our adopted families while you buy presents for your loved ones. This year, students in the Delaware Civil Law Clinic and the Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic selected three families from among those who received clinic aid.

The first adopted family has 8 children under the age of 14, and as Assistant Dean and Registrar Dottie Hemphill, the Coordinator of the Adopt a Family program, notes, “The mother is an immigrant to the United States and is trying her best to support her family on her own. The children’s father seriously physically abused both the mother and the children,” and they “were put in rooms and were padlocked in from the outside. This family is in crisis and needs help!”

The second family consists of a mother and three boys ranging in age from 8 to 15. “The physical and emotional abuse has taken its toll on all the family members. The threats to kill were almost fulfilled this year when the father went after the mother with a box cutter. Luckily one of the children stepped in but then the father turned the weapon on himself and slit his wrists in front of the mother and children. The family is healing and doing its best to look forward, but it is difficult with such strong emotional scars. A wonderful Christmas will be the best therapy this family can have!” The third and final family consists of a mother, a 10 year old girl, and a 9 month old baby, and they need help every bit as much as the other families.

Students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Law Center are encouraged to bring new clothing and toys or very gently used items to the Registrar’s office by December 19th. Non-perishable food items will be collected at the Dean’s Holiday Party on December 17th, but can also be dropped off at the Registrar’s Office for those who cannot attend. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in a “wrapping” party on December 19th. Information about what to donate for the adopted families can be obtained from Dottie Hemphill in the registrar’s office.

As for Operation Warm, $15 will buy a child a new coat, and donations in any amount can be brought to the LEI office. The donations will be collected and delivered to Grisillo’s Thriftway at 196 Pennmart Center in New Castle, DE between 5 and 6 PM on Thursday, December 17th, so any donations need to be brought to the LEI offices before that time.