This week The Lawler Firm along with the Kansas City Jr. Blues Rugby Team and St. Thomas Aquinas Rugby team are participating in the Don Bosco Center Adopt A Family Holiday project. I have had the opportunity to participate in this project over the last several years through my association with the Kansas City Blues and Kansas City Jr. Blues Rugby Club. The Lawler Firm, Jr. Blues and St. Thomas Aquinas Rugby team have adopted three families.
The Don Bosco Center each year tries to help out families in need through the Holiday Adopt a Family Program where people or organizations raise money to help give underprivileged families a Christmas. Over the last several years, the KC Blues Rugby team has been involved, and adopted anywhere from 2 to 5 families. Don Bosco receives information from the community about families who are need of basic necessities who are living below the poverty line. Many of these families have had a mother or father who have lost a job due to the economy or just run across hard times. Or it could be a single mother with 2 or 3 kids who is just struggling to make it by. These families are families that would not have a Christmas without Don Bosco and its Holiday program. We attempt to spend about $60-70 per person in the family so that we can help them out with some of the basic needs– blankets, bedding, coats, hats, gloves, sweaters, pants, etc for the family and the children. If we are lucky and have a little left over we usually try and get something off the children’s “wants” list such as toys or other gifts.
I got involved in this project when I was still playing rugby for the KC Blues about 6 or 7 years ago when it was started by Tim Kluempers, a former player. Tim now coaches the Aquinas high school rugby program and he has been doing the project with his players over the last several years. Once I retired from my playing days, I started helping coach the Jr. Blues rugby team (high school team associated with the KC Blues). Last year Tim and I got to talking, and he asked if our kids wanted to join his kids in doing the Don Bosco project with the Sr. Blues and Aquinas HS. I thought it was a great idea. Last year was the first time the Jr. Blues adopted their own family, and we did it in conjunction with the Aquinas HS rugby team. It was a great opportunity for the kids on both teams to give back to the community, and do something together. The two teams are fierce rivals on the field, but they come together for this holiday service project for a second straight year. It is great to see the kids build camaraderie off the field even though they will wanting to beat each other on the field this spring. It is a great way to start of the high school rugby season in the Kansas City area.
I saw this as an opportunity for our players to build character in our team by doing something together and giving back to the community at the same time. The two teams will go shopping for their three families on Thursday night and wrap up all the gifts together. Then they deliver them to their families on Saturday morning. This year the three families range in size from 5 to 8 people per family. It is neat to see the two teams working together to accomplish this goal. It is a very rewarding project as there is nothing like seeing the families faces when we deliver the gifts to their homes to help provide a Christmas for them they would otherwise not have. The parents are always thankful and appreciative of our help as they would not have received a Christmas if it were not for us. It is also makes our kids realize they should be thankful for all that they have and their families have provided for them.
Happy Holidays from the Lawler Firm!!!!
If you would like more information about the Don Bosco Holiday Adopt a Family program, please click here. You can find out more about the KC Jr. Blues rugby team at www.jrbluesruugby.com or www.kcblues.org and about The Lawler Firm, LLC at www.lawlerfirmllc.com.