John Harrity Shares Survival Story to Raise CPR Awareness

Virginia Lawyer Saved by CPR Shares Story to Raise Awareness

By Diane Bernard

FAIRFAX, Va. – A lawyer in Fairfax had a sudden heart attack and was saved by a friend’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Next week is National CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week, and now he’s challenging folks to join a fundraiser to support research for these life-saving procedures.

In 2016, John Harrity was a healthy, 49-year-old athlete who followed a strict diet and had no family history of heart disease. Playing in a weekly basketball game, he felt like he couldn’t breathe and suddenly fainted. Harrity had what he described as one of the worst types of cardiac arrest – a so-called “widow-maker.”

“Luckily, that night my friend called 911 immediately, and within seconds of me hitting the ground, they were performing CPR – and that saved my life,” he said. “I mean, it is the reason that I am here today.”

Harrity encouraged people to watch the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR video to learn how to help in a heart-attack emergency. Another way is to participate in the upcoming Washington, D.C., “Lawyers Have Heart” 10-K race. The free event is open to everyone and will be held online the weekend of June 11. More information is online at lawyershaveheartdc.org.

Federal data show heart disease remains the number one killer in the nation and the second-leading cause of death in Virginia. Harrity pointed to his own experience as evidence the chances of survival are double or triple if CPR is performed immediately after cardiac arrest. He noted the urgency behind learning the life-saving technique.

“Seventy percent of out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home,” he said, “and only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrest receive that immediate help that’s needed, including that CPR.”

More than 350,000 Americans have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year, and about 90% of those are fatal, according to the American Heart Association.

Click HERE to listen to the newscast on Public News Service.

Join us for the 31st Annual Lawyers Have Heart free virtual event in support of the American Heart Association, the largest organization dedicated to educating the community on heart disease & CPR. Register here.

Harrity 4 Charity Matches $25,000 of Donations for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness

Harrity 4 Charity will be matching up to $25,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association during CHD Awareness Week (February 7-14th).

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a structural problem with the heart that is present at birth. It is the most common type of birth defect in infants, affecting 40,000 children every year. About 25% of infants born with CHD will require invasive procedures or surgery in their first year of life. We have chosen this week to launch our matching campaign in order to raise awareness and promote support for the life-saving treatments provided by the American Heart Association to affected children. One of those children is Barrett Pick, son of Harrity’s Docketing Manager, Michael Pick.

Barrett was born on October 18, 2018 with both Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect known as a complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect. Essentially, this is a large hole in the center of the heart where the tissue fails to grow together to properly form the walls and valves between the heart’s four chambers. This causes the oxygen-rich blood coming into the heart from the lungs to mix with the oxygen-depleted blood coming into the heart from the rest of the body. This inefficiency was causing Barrett’s heart and lungs to work harder to supply the oxygen his body needed, and he was immediately placed in neonatal intensive care where he languished day after day. Although the doctors preferred to wait until he was at least four months old before attempting to repair his heart surgically, it was determined that he needed the repair as soon as possible and his case was put before the hospital’s surgical board and was ultimately approved. He underwent his surgery at 7 weeks old, and after some minor post-operation setbacks, his condition began to rapidly improve. Thanks to the amazing care he received from the cardiology team at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we were finally able to bring him home on New Year’s Eve. Barrett is now a healthy and active toddler who can steal your heart with a wave and a smile. 

About half of all infants born with Down Syndrome have some form of congenital heart defect. Thanks to the medical advances made possible by ongoing research funded by the American Heart Association and similar charities, children like Barrett are given the opportunity to thrive and lead active and healthy lives.

Harrity 4 Charity will be matching up to $25,000 of donations made during CHD Awareness Week starting Sunday, February 7th.  We would like to encourage individuals and teams to both register for the Lawyers Have Heart race and make a donation during registration to raise money and awareness for CHD.  All donations made during this week will count towards the $25K match to help children like Barrett every day.

Click here to register for the race for free and make a donation in honor of CHD Awareness Week.

To learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity, click here.

 

Tell Me Something Good with John Harrity

Partner John Harrity discusses the origins of Harrity 4 Charity, our Diversity Initiatives, and why giving back is so important to our firm culture with On the Ball’s Steve Nudelberg as part of his “Tell Me Something Good” segment.

John highlights changing our firm’s mindset to be “serving-others” focused. Once Harrity 4 Charity was established, he says, “we asked whats the next giving back thing? We went right to diversity…We have to be foundational with what we are doing.”

 

Learn more about Harrity 4 Charity here and see all of our Diversity Initiatives here. Open positions can be found at harrityllp.com/careers.

Harrity 4 Charity Donations Surpass One Million Dollars

Fairfax, VA (January 25, 2021) Harrity 4 Charity donations have surpassed one million dollars.  Harrity 4 Charity, which began in 2016, reflects our firm’s nationwide giving-back initiative in addition to our partnership with four critical charities: The American Heart Association, ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, Inova Children’s Hospital, and No More Stolen Childhoods.

This milestone is only possible due to our partners’ commitment to donate 5% of all firm profits to charity and the generosity of all 60 Harrity employees, who each donate a portion of their paycheck to these causes.

To learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity, click here.

 

The Business Voice Features Harrity & Harrity Charity Matching

Harrity & Harrity’s efforts to help the American Heart Association in their mission to promote longer, healthier lives has been recognized in The Business Voice from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Through the end of 2020, Harrity doubled all American Heart Association donations and registration fees up to $100,000 for the Lawyers Have Heart 10k, 5k, and Fun Walk.

“As a person who had his life saved by the AHA’s science, this cause is beyond important to me and my family,” said John Harrity, Harrity & Harrity LLP’s Co-Founding Partner. “Our firm wanted to give in a big way and we hope this inspires others to do the same.”

Learn more about giving back through Harrity 4 Charity here.

Harrity 4 Charity on Erie News Now

(Erie News Now) JJ’s Retro Eatery, a family-owned-and-operated diner in Union City, PA, has faced some challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When Harrity Docketing Specialist Julie Swartz heard about their struggles, she knew that she needed to get Harrity 4 Charity involved.

“We have put everything we have into this business and have been blessed with many successful years,” said Debbi James. “But the past year has been an extreme struggle with the times we are face with during this pandemic. We are struggling to survive day-to-day and we owe so much to Harrity for offering their help, along with a thank you to Julie, who has the most caring heart ever.”

Erie News Now featured JJ’s story:

 

JJ’s will host a Holiday Baked Goods Drive By through Christmas. 10 of JJ’s most popular pies will be sold during the event, along with six flavors of cheesecake, four types of turnovers, jumbo cinnamon or maple rolls and an assorted Christmas cookie tray.

JJ’s Retro Eatery is located at 16411 Route 8 in Union City. Business hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The restaurant will also be open on Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers to pick up pre-ordered baked goods only.

To view a menu and place an order, click here

Orders must be placed by Dec. 20 and can be picked up curbside. Free delivery is available within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.

For more information on JJ’s Retro Eatery and to see a full menu, visit them on Facebook.

 

Harrity & Harrity LLP to match up to $100,000 for the American Heart Association

(NOVA Chamber Newsletter) The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives is excited to announce that through December 31 all donations and registration fees up to $100,000 will be doubled for its Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5K Run and Walk. Made possible through the generosity of race sponsor Harrity & Harrity LLP to promote increased around Giving Tuesday, a global movement to support charities. Donations to Lawyers Have Heart benefit the Association to further its work for a world of longer, healthier lives and can help fast track research and train front-line workers.

“As a person who had his life saved by the AHA’s science, this cause is beyond important to me and my family,” said John Harrity, Harrity & Harrity LLP’s Managing Partner. “Our firm wanted to give in a big way and we hope this inspires others to do the same.  Millions of people are counting on the American Heart Association for science-based information, health resources, community programs and patient support. They need us to be generous now more than ever.”

There are many ways to take part in the matching opportunity:

  • Visit LawyersHaveHeartDC.org and make a donation in support of a world of longer, healthier lives.
  • Consider an opportunity for your  company to sponsor the event by contacting maher@heart.org.
  • Register for the 2021 race through December 31 and the fee will count as a donation that will be matched by Harrity & Harrity LLP.
  • Give through your mobile phone. Text RUNLHH to 41444.

“Planning is moving forward for a huge 2021 event and we hope to once again attract participants from around the world,” said Harrity. “There was an incredible response when we took the 2020 event to a digital experience where 3,000 participants ran and walked their courses all over the United States, England, Croatia, Spain, South Africa, Japan and more. We will definitely plan to keep a virtual component moving forward so anyone can take part from anywhere in the world.”

Harrity serves as a co-chair for the 2021 event along with his firm’s Controller Sandra Maxey and American University Washington College of Law’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs, David Jaffe. Since 1991, the event has raised over $15.6 million, in support of vital research and programming to improve health and well-being across the Greater Washington Region.

“We are so thankful to Harrity & Harrity for their tremendous support that will build excitement,” said Soula Antoniou, Executive Director, American Heart Association. “This gift helps ensure the Association’s continued work with researchers, medical experts, hospitals, community leaders, businesses, families and more to improve health and well-being for all and to reduce the impact of the coronavirus.”

 

Random Act of Kindness Leads to Holiday Pie Drive-By Sale at Union City Restaurant

(Eerie News Now) A Union City restaurant is receiving some much needed help through a random act of kindness.

In July, Debbi and Greg James, owners of JJ’s Retro Eatery, posted on Facebook about the dire challenges the restaurant has faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also posted a thank you to an unknown person who mowed the lawn of the restaurant.

After seeing the Facebook post, a former customer of the restaurant who now lives in Virginia took action.

Julie Swartz, a docketing specialist for Fairfax, Va.-based law firm Harrity, LLP, saw the post on Facebook. Swartz grew up in Erie and had eaten at the restaurant years ago. Seeing the post and learning about the situation the restaurant was in, as well as the random act of kindness of someone mowing the lawn of the restaurant, Swartz knew she had to somehow pay it forward.

Swartz, who now lives in Evans City, Pa., with the help of a COVID-19 relief fund established by Harrity 4 Charity – the giving-back initiative of Harrity LLP -, got in the car and drove to JJ’s.

There, she presented the restaurant with a relief check, new banners for the restaurant’s front, flowers for curb appeal and cleaning supplies. Swartz then spent the day with the Debbi and Greg James and their family to prepare for reopening after Pennsylvania’s spring shutdown.

Since then, Harrity has provided a financial helping hand to the struggling eatery.

This holiday season, Swartz is now helping the James family organize a Holiday Pie Drive By for JJ’s, which is known for its baked goods. Swartz has volunteered to help pass out flyers and make deliveries.

“We have put everything we have into this business and have been blessed with many successful years,” said Debbi James. “But the past year has been an extreme struggle with the times we are face with during this pandemic. We are struggling to survive day-to-day and we owe so much to Harrity for offering their help, along with a thank you to Julie, who has the most caring heart ever.”

JJ’s will host the Holiday Baked Goods Drive By through Christmas. 10 of JJ’s most popular pies will be sold during the event, along with six flavors of cheesecake, four types of turnovers, jumbo cinnamon or maple rolls and an assorted Christmas cookie tray.

JJ’s Retro Eatery is located at 16411 Route 8 in Union City. Business hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The restaurant will also be open on Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers to pick up pre-ordered baked goods only.

To view a menu and place an order, click here.

Orders must be placed by Dec. 20 and can be picked up curbside. Free delivery is available within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant.

For more information on JJ’s Retro Eatery and to see a full menu, visit them on Facebook.

 

7-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Raises Thousands for Gifts to Give Hospitalized Kids, Matched by Harrity 4 Charity

 

 

 

(NBC4 Washington) Small but mighty: That’s a good way to describe a Fairfax County second grader who is helping Inova raise thousands of dollars to buy toys for kids who are in the hospital this holiday season.

Poppy Sellier, 7, has a special appreciation for what those toys mean, because it wasn’t long ago that she was in the hospital herself.

Playing with her LEGOs today, Poppy is the picture of health. But when we first met her in summer 2019, she was just wrapping up treatment for leukemia at Inova Children’s Hospital.

Poppy and her family always carried the other children at the hospital in their hearts, even while Poppy was still a patient there. Her mom, Charlotte, brought in donated toys, with Poppy making deliveries in a red wagon.

“They would be very happy and they would like all the toys that I brought them,” Poppy recalled with a smile.

Last year during the holidays, with a bow in her newly regrown hair, Poppy and her siblings returned to the hospital, reuniting with staff and helping to deliver hundreds of LEGO sets donated by the community to Inova.

 

But coronavirus means some adjustments this year.

“Because this year it’s the coronavirus, we can’t go into the hospital and give it,” Poppy said.

And Inova can’t ask the community to donate toys. So instead, they’ve made Poppy an ambassador of sorts for what they’re calling Poppy’s Toy Express, asking the community to give money instead of toys this year.

“Usually we love accepting the gifts from the community, and people are so generous during this time,” Inova Health Foundation President Sage Bolte said. “But because we can’t, Poppy actually offered up her own allowance to start this campaign.”

And Poppy’s story has been inspiring lots of giving.

“We got a lot of generous donations, and we got right now over like 55,000 kind of money,” Poppy said.

That $55,000 means they’re already very close to making their $60,000 goal to supply toys not only at the holidays but throughout the year. And once that $60,000 is raised, it will be matched by a group called Harrity 4 Charity.

As for Poppy, she’s enjoying feeling well and being back in school in 2nd grade.

“It feels so much better. I like my teacher and she’s really, really nice,” Poppy said.

But Poppy and her family are hoping that by next year, the red wagon full of toys will roll again.

Harrity 4 Charity is doubling up to $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

WDVM Interviews John Harrity on Giving Tuesday Matching

See the full article at Localdvm.com.

 

To make a contribution to one of our Harrity 4 Charity partners, please see below.

American Heart Association

Harrity 4 Charity pledges to match up to $100,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, through the upcoming Lawyers Have Heart event. Click here to donate and to register for the 2021 LHH 5K, 10K and Fun Walk, virtually or in-person. You can also make a donation by simply texting ‘RUNLHH’ to 41444.

No More Stolen Childhoods

In an effort to put an end to childhood sexual abuse and help survivors with recovery, we are matching $45,000 of donations made to NMSC by December 1. Please click here to contribute.

INOVA Children’s Hospital

Harrity 4 Charity will double $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer

This year, we are matching $50,000 of gifts made to ZERO. You can join the fight against prostate cancer and support prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy by donating here.

Harrity 4 Charity Announces Matching Gifts for Giving Tuesday

Harrity 4 Charity, the giving-back initiative of Harrity LLP, is leading the way in Giving Tuesday efforts and challenging others to join.

Harrity 4 Charity will match up to $255,000 of donations gifted between now and Dec. 1st to the American Heart Association ($100,000 match), INOVA Children’s Hospital ($60,000 match), No More Stolen Childhoods ($45,000 match) and ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer ($50,000 match).

American Heart Association

Harrity 4 Charity pledges to match up to $100,000 of donations made to the American Heart Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, through the upcoming Lawyers Have Heart event. Click here to donate and to register for the 2021 LHH 5K, 10K and Fun Walk, virtually or in-person. You can also make a donation by simply texting ‘RUNLHH’ to 41444.

No More Stolen Childhoods

In an effort to put an end to childhood sexual abuse and help survivors with recovery, we are matching $45,000 of donations made to NMSC by December 1st. Please click here to contribute.

INOVA Children’s Hospital

Harrity 4 Charity will double $60,000 of donations made to INOVA for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books for children undergoing treatment and surgery at INOVA Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Express — an initiative started by a seven-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer

This year, we are matching $50,000 of gifts made to ZERO. You can join the fight against prostate cancer and support prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy by donating here.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Harrity 4 Charity Ranks Third on Washington Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy List

Harrity & Harrity landed the third spot on the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy – Small Companies by Giving in Greater D.C. List, appearing in the November 13th publication. The rankings are based off of 2019 statistics and charitable efforts of companies headquartered in the D.C. metro area.

You can see the full list HERE.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Jorden Harrity, Daughter of John Harrity, Organizes Pizza Deliveries to Thank First Responders

By 

CENTREVILLE, VA (The Patch)— The Harrity family had faced a similarly scary situation four years earlier when John Harrity was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a major heart attack. In late April, Harrity’s 17-year-old daughter Jorden Harrity suddenly fainted in the early morning hours, bringing back memories of 2016. Her parents called 911, and she was rushed to the emergency room.

The doctors at the hospital ran a bunch of tests but could not find any major issues with Jorden. While everything worked out for the teen who will be a senior at Centreville High School, she started thinking about the firefighters and EMTs like the ones with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department who helped her.

Jorden wondered why they were not necessarily receiving as much attention as the hardworking medical teams at hospitals who are also risking their lives helping COVID-19 patients. She told Patch that she believed first responders also deserved recognition for the risky work they do on a daily basis.

As a way to show her gratitude for taking her to the hospital — and remembering how EMTs rushed her father to the hospital four years earlier — Jorden came up with the idea to deliver pizzas to the fire station where the firefighters and EMTs worked.

Harrity delivered her first pizzas last Friday to the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department in Centreville to thank them for helping her back in April.

Capt. Kenneth Dobbs at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department said he appreciated Jorden delivering the pizzas in person. EMTs often do not know what happens to the people who they help. “The fact that she was able to walk in here, say thank you to us and bring us pizza,” he told WDVM. “It just means a lot to us and our crews.”

Jorden Harrity, a rising senior at Centreville High School, meets with Fairfax Fire & Rescue Department personnel to express her appreciation. (Courtesy of John Harrity)

Jorden also approached her dad, managing partner of Harrity & Harrity law firm in Fairfax City, with an idea to not only thank the men and women at the Centreville fire station but to honor the nearby fire stations for each of the 56 employees of his law firm, who not only live in Virginia, but in more than two dozen other states.

Jorden started doing research to determine which local fire station was the one that would respond to each Harrity & Harrity employee’s home across the country in case of emergency. After delivering pizzas to the Centreville fire station on Friday, Jorden is now scheduling deliveries to fire stations in states across the country.

After his near-death experience in 2016 at the age of 49 from a “widow-maker” heart attack, Jorden’s father, John Harrity, ramped up his charitable efforts. His Fairfax City law firm, Harrity & Harrity, was already known for its giving, whether it was through its participation in the annual Lawyers Have Heart race in Georgetown that raises money for the American Heart Association or local charities.

Since his near-death experience, John Harrity and his brother and law firm co-founder Paul Harrity created the Harrity 4 Charity that gives five percent of the law firm’s profits to charities. Law firm employees also donate a portion of their paychecks to charity. In addition to the charities, Harrity also created an emergency COVID-19 fund.

Jorden, who is a member of service clubs at Centreville High School, said her father’s efforts since his heart attack have inspired her to help others. She told Patch about her new appreciation for the value of community service and plans to continue working to help others during her senior year and when she heads off to college in the fall of 2021.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Virginia teen thanks first responders with pizza deliveries

CENTREVILLE, Va. (WDVM) — 17-year-old Jorden Harrity, daughter of Harrity & Harrity Manager Partner John Harrity, is thanking first responders by delivering pizzas to local fire stations.

 

 

Harrity came up with the idea when she fainted back in April and the paramedics brought her to the hospital. She realized that the first responders weren’t getting as much notoriety as the medical staff in hospitals.

Harrity delivered her first pizza on August 7 to the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department to thank them for answering her call back in April.

One pizza down… 56 more to go. Harrity decided that she wanted to thank other local first responders. She located the nearest responding unit for all 56 employees in her father’s firm. Now, she will be scheduling deliveries in states all across the U.S.

Capt. Kenneth Dobbs at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department was thankful for the delivery — not because of the pizzas, but because he got to see Harrity. The teams don’t usually know what happens to the people who they respond to.

“The fact that she was able to walk in here, say thank you to us and bring us pizza…it just means a lot to us and our crews,” he said.

by 

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Harrity 4 Charity Lends a Hand in Communities Across the Country During Pandemic

For the past 33 years, Manna Ministries, a weekly food share distribution agency in rural Alabaster, Alabama, has helped feed people in underserved communities in four counties—already making it the largest agency of Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham. But even so, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.

“Since COVID,” says Executive Director Phyllis Harbin, “we have doubled the number of people we are serving since this time last year, now close to 300 households. And we are one of the only food shares that distributes weekly, not monthly.  People are carpooling here from inner city Birmingham with two, three, even four families in the vehicle because they can’t find enough food,” she notes about the drive-throughs on Saturday mornings.”

“People are losing their jobs,” she explains. “We’re now seeing all walks of life come through … many of them middle class folks. At least 25% have never needed to ask for help before.  People have no financial cushion and who would have ever thought something like this would happen?”

Reliant on donations of cash and food, all-volunteer Manna Ministries is able to feed someone for a month for about $5 … But COVID has made it far harder to meet the demand … And many people don’t realize that Food Stamps don’t even cover necessary paper products or hygiene items.

“Weekly,” Phyllis relates, “we give every family one box each of pantry items, produce and meat, as well as breads, sweets and dairy if we have it—about 50-60 pounds of food. And we provide baby formula/food. We don’t always have hygiene items, but we are trying during the pandemic to provide toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, feminine hygiene products, even pet food.  All of our volunteers look for donations, like asking our dentists to donate toothpaste and toothbrushes.  We’ll take any usable donation. Hand sanitizer is hard to find, but the Church Ladies have been making masks to hand out.  We just try to show kindness and love on them.”

Afraid that COVID isn’t going anywhere soon, donations like the one from Harrity 4 Charity’s COVID emergency fund are more important than ever.  “You betcha,” says Phyllis, a retired financial record keeper.  “The amount that Harrity gave us took us through three months of weekly food drive-throughs—You’re talking about feeding 1,500 families. And the public relations support provided by Harrity brought in three more sizable donations. We’re grateful.”

“We all do it not because we have to,” she shares, “but because we see a big need out there and have a love of people. We feel called to do His work. It’s a labor of love and we’re just glad that we’re able to assist.”

See Manna Ministries food distribution drive-thru on NBC’s WVTM-TV: https://www.wvtm13.com/article/local-ministry-hands-out-food-to-hundreds-in-alabaster/33357106

Images of Food Drive-Through

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Harrity Continues to Provide Hope Through COVID-19 Relief

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, Harrity 4 Charity—the giving-back initiative of Harrity & Harrity, LLP—has re-designated its priorities to assist people impacted by COVID-19 by creating a fund specifically focused on relief efforts. The fund is used to issue one grant or more per month to struggling restaurants across the country, who then provide thousands of dollars’ worth of redeemable meal vouchers to local food banks and community resource centers where they are distributed to families in need. The firm also selects individuals and families nominated for help by firm employees and associates and provides them with emergency financial relief to offset the virus’s impact, with plans to continue the program through the end of 2020.

“We all know people who are struggling tremendously,” says John Harrity, managing partner of Harrity & Harrity, “but when you hear the personal stories of what people are going through in every community in the country, it’s heart-wrenching. A freshly prepared meal is more than sustenance, it’s a very basic, down-home way to communicate that we care. And we are doing it in a way that also supports restaurant owners and staff whose businesses have been hit by this virus in those same communities.”

The first region to experience Harrity’s generosity was in their own backyard, in Fairfax County, Va, during the month of May. The firm has since expanded the program to offer the same help in other states, specifically in areas that are most vulnerable to economic devastation as a result of the pandemic.

Says Annie, a single grandmother raising her four grandsons, ages 14, 13, 11 and 2, “I never thought I’d have to go to a food bank ever in my life. I don’t like going, but for my grandsons I go, though not every week. If I don’t need it, I don’t go. I am grateful, but I don’t want to be greedy.”

Forced to accept a pay cut in 2017—when an injury sidelined her as an inspector for the housing authority and forced her to take a position as an administrative assistant—Annie has struggled to support her grandchildren and to put dinner on the table.  The COVID-19 pandemic created the added burden of assisting with home schooling the kids, three of whom have learning disabilities.

“In the state of Virginia, they won’t give me food stamps,” she shares. “They say I make too much money. Really, with four children? And there’s no stipend like there would be if they were in foster care. I take primary care of them financially and they are always outgrowing things. But I don’t regret having them. Yes, I get tired and frustrated … But not only did I save them, they saved me too.”

Annie says receiving the vouchers for a take-out family meal from Glory Days restaurant meant “a whole lot” to her.  “When I have extra money, I do take the boys. Monday is $6.99 burger specials. They are very good people and I want them to feel like they are just as important, not less than anyone else.

“It was a blessing and I’m thankful … Just one day I didn’t have to worry about what I was going to cook because I‘m rushing out at six o’clock in the morning and maybe forget to take something out for dinner. The food was delicious and the kids enjoyed it, which really made my day.”

“I was never the kind of person who had to ask for help,” she adds, “but with having the kids, it has really humbled me tremendously.  Things that were a big deal aren’t a big deal anymore.  Sometimes we go through things for a reason, but it’s okay … I don’t mind telling my story because it needs to be told.”

In another part of Virginia, Elsa, a stay-at-home mom, and Jose, a carpenter, are the parents of four sons, ages 10-19. Both Jose and their youngest boy contracted the coronavirus. Although they were thankfully asymptomatic, Jose was furloughed from his job as a carpenter, leaving his family without income. They felt very fortunate to be able to get food on the table through the Lorton Community Action Center and especially when they, too, were given the vouchers for a meal at Glory Days.

“Now that I’m home from work, I can see how exhausting it is for my mom to take care of my brothers,” shares their son, Erik, 19, an apprentice studying to be an electrician, but who is also currently on hiatus due to the pandemic. “We had not left the house in a week when we received the vouchers and we were running low on food.  We were just very thankful that we were able to eat and that Mom didn’t have to cook for us that day.”

For the month of June, the firm brought its COVID-19 relief program to the state of Alabama, where two food banks received grants to feed over 600 families. A new wave of recipients were selected for emergency financial relief and received checks. Some of their stories and more information about our initiatives can be found on our COVID-19 Relief Page.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

 

Fairfax Lawyer Helps Fund Restaurants During COVID-19

Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WASHINGTON, DC (June 15th, 2020) A Fairfax attorney is using his charity organization to help community members suffering from the financial impacts of COVID-19.

In 2016, John Harrity, managing partner of Harrity & Harrity, nearly died at 49 from a “widowmaker” — a heart attack resulting in the complete closure of the left anterior coronary artery that often results in instant death. Given a million-to-one odds of survival, Harrity decided to turn such a negative experience into something good.

Soon after, Harrity 4 Charity, or H4C, was born.

“I thought, if I just get through this process and eventually go back to work and just go back as if nothing happened, then I will have wasted this entire experience,” Harrity said.

In the four years since its founding, H4C has worked as a tangential organization of Harrity’s firm to donate 5% of its profits to multiple causes, including the American Heart Association and Zero – the End of Prostate Cancer.

“Every employee of my firm gives a portion of their paycheck to our partner charities,” Harrity said. “We wouldn’t hire someone that wouldn’t be willing to make that commitment. That’s how important it is for us.”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, H4C, now independent from Harrity’s firm, has “redesigned” its priorities to create a fund for individuals that are struggling financially during these times. In the past few months, Harrity has used his organization to create grants for struggling local restaurants — including Glory Days Grill in Fairfax.

“We thought, OK, we’ve been giving to charities, and that’s good, but I think we need to pivot and help people who have been financially impacted,” Harrity said.

Therefore last month, Harrity teamed up with the Glory Days Grill owners to create a system in which the restaurant provided 157 meal vouchers to local food banks that could be brought to the restaurant and exchanged for a meal for a family of four.

“The [community] response has been overwhelming. People are so grateful that we are helping them,” said Sandra Maxey, controller for H4C.

One Fairfax resident that benefited from a meal voucher is Elsa. Last month, the youngest of her four sons tested positive for COVID-19. Because her family has to stay home for at least two weeks following his diagnosis, they were unable to work and struggled to afford groceries.

“The Glory Days Grill donation came to us at the best time where we could sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together,” Elsa said.

Harrity said he wanted to make a charitable contribution directly connected to his firm, as well. Therefore, he had his 55 employees compile a list of all the individuals they knew of that are struggling financially during this time.

The firm has since sent a first round of checks to those individuals to help alleviate financial stress, with a second round being sent in the upcoming weeks.

“Our intention with that is that we will continue to do it for as long as there’s an issue,” Harrity said.

Maxey said that the organization is currently in the process of creating an additional program to help feed first responders.

Harrity said he wants to help those outside of Virginia, as well. Therefore, with two employees working remotely in Alabama, H4C has begun giving to food banks there.

“We’re going to continue to do this through the end of the year,” Harrity said.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Counsel Who Care: How Attys Are Helping During Virus Crisis

Law360 (April 7, 2020) — As coronavirus cases have spiked, law firms across the nation have been stepping up to help, from providing pro bono legal assistance to fundraisers and donations. Here, Law360 rounds up some of the latest charity efforts from the legal community in response to the pandemic.

 

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Donations, Funds Established By Firms

Virginia-based patent boutique Harrity & Harrity LLP has redirected its charity initiative, Harrity 4 Charity, to help those affected by the pandemic.

While the firm has not yet announced the recipients of the fund, it said in an announcement last week that the initiative will focus on helping families and individuals who have been laid off or lost their jobs and single parents or families struggling to provide for their children as a result of COVID-19.

“As a result of the current pandemic, we have decided to pause our contributions to our partner charities and instead get our Harrity 4 Charity dollars out into the communities to help people who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus,” managing partner John Harrity said in a statement.

The firm had been donating 5% of its profits to four charitable organizations: American Heart Association, Inova Children’s Hospital, ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer, and No More Stolen Childhoods, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the public perception of childhood sexual abuse.

The law firm also plans to establish restaurant-run food banks to help businesses who are suffering from a lack of customers, while providing free meals to people who cannot afford them.

 

Read the full article on Law360 here.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.