In 1998, Fenwick intellectual property lawyer Mitchell Zimmerman decided he wanted to give back to the community. Recognizing that we are members of a world community as well as our immediate community, he selected two charitable organizations, one local and one global. Zimmerman offered to personally match donations his Fenwick colleagues made to the international medical relief organization Doctors Without Borders and to East Palo Alto’s Ecumenical Hunger Program, up to $1,500 for each organization. As EHP shared in their annual report, Zimmerman’s efforts sparked nearly two decades of giving, resulting in significant impact over the years.
“That first year, Fenwick people gave $2,750 to EHP. In future years, other partners at our firm – Matt Quilter, Gordon Davidson, Ted Wang and the firm itself – joined us in challenging Fenwick people to match their contributions,” Zimmerman wrote in the story published in EHP’s most recent annual report. EHP assists local families undergoing economic hardship, providing them with food, clothing, household essentials, furniture and school supplies. EHP also offers social services and training to those in need, to help them address the issues that had contributed to their becoming homeless or lacking in food or resources.
“Support for the two organizations steadily increased,” Zimmerman said. “In the latest year, we raised $42,800 for EHP! Over the entire 18 year period, Fenwickians have given more a third of a million dollars ($366,000) in support of the work of Ecumenical Hunger Program, and roughly the same to Doctors Without Borders.”
The full article is available through the Ecumenical Hunger Program’s website (see pages 18-19).