Few months, if any, encourage one to reflect and be grateful for what they have more than the month of November and rightfully so.
The 11th month of the calendar year not only houses Thanksgiving, Veterans Day has annually fallen on November 11 every year since 1919.
For Veteran’s Day this year, The Lawyers of Kendall Whittier and Rivas & Associates showed their gratitude by volunteering at “Night Light Tulsa” – a well-known weekly outreach program for the homeless community in Tulsa.
Organized by Tulsa’s City Lights Foundation, Night Light Tulsa takes place every Thursday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during which time volunteers meet under the bridge at North Maybelle Avenue and West M.B. Brady Street with the common goal of building relationships with Tulsa’s homeless community through sharing a meal, donating clothes and blankets but most importantly by lending an empathetic ear.
Those interested in participating should visit the City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma website.
“We had discussed participating in the Night Light Tulsa program for a while as an office,” Rivas & Associates office manager Ami Bowlin said. “Although our attorneys are extremely busy with clients and cases, they have always made it a priority to give back to the Tulsa community whenever possible. This truly is a remarkable program which I hope more Tulsans can experience because the fact of the matter is we received a lot more from volunteering than we were able to give.”
The first Night Light Tulsa was held on Sept. 19, 2013. It attracted about 60 people – half of which were volunteers. Today, Night Light Tulsa routinely draws a crowd of over 300 per Thursday.
Co-founder Sarah Grounds highlighted in a 2018 Tulsa World article that she wanted to start a ministry and drew inspiration for Night Light Tulsa after learning about a ministry to the homeless in Portland called Night Strike.
Hamburgers are the food of choice for the weekly event which embodies more of a block party type atmosphere than a weekly feeding frenzy.
“It’s crazy how it’s grown,” Grounds told the Tulsa World. “We never imagined it would turn out like this. We never imagined the friendships that would be made.”
While the schedules of attorneys and legal personnel at The Lawyers of Kendall Whittier and Rivas & Associates are chaotic to say the least, Ami Bowlin says the two firms will be back to volunteer at Night Light Tulsa.
“Absolutely,” Ami Bowlin said. “I think we could all use a little more empathy these days. It’s important to recognize that those who may appear to be less fortunate than you are people who not only deserve a helping hand but are worth getting to know. We’re all human. We all have ups and downs.”