At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we consider ourselves to be more than just a law firm representing injured people—we're also proud members and supporters of the western Pennsylvania communities we call home.
We're proud to announce that our firm is now partnering with two local athletes and nonprofits to help a cause close to all of our hearts: children.
These partnerships with Pittsburgh second baseman Josh "J-Hay" Harrison and defensive end Cam Heyward help support children who need it most.
It's a staggering statistic: In Pennsylvania, more than 20 percent of all children are food insecure—something that can have severe and long-lasting consequences. According to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, hungry kids are nearly three times more likely to suffer from poor health, and are at greater risk of everything from vitamin deficiencies to behavior problems.
To help combat hunger, Edgar Snyder & Associates is teaming up with Josh Harrison, DreamBuilders, FOCUS+Pittsburgh, and the Food Bank.
Together, we are supporting a new initiative called the Backpack Feeding Program, which sends students home on Fridays with healthy food so they won't have to worry about being hungry over the weekend.
The program was created after a Pittsburgh Public School teacher asked the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for assistance for her students, many of whom were food insecure on the weekends. Those students then returned to school on Monday mornings tired and unmotivated. She said some even exhibited behavioral problems, which she attributed to them not getting enough to eat over the weekend.
That's when Josh and a nonprofit he is involved with, Dreambuilders, stepped up to the plate. Dreambuilders works with athletes in different cities help kids in need meet their wellness goals.
Our firm is proud to partner with them in support of the program, which currently benefits the North Side Public School, where food is distributed to children in need. Organizers are hopeful that the number of involved Pittsburgh Public Schools will grow along with sponsorships and volunteers.
Some KidsVoice clients have been abused and neglected, while others live in group homes or are making their way through the foster care system. Many of the children have parents who are in jail. Most are from families whose annual income falls below the poverty line.
Now those children, clients at KidsVoice—a non-profit agency that advocates for children involved in the child-welfare system—have friends in Pittsburgh football player Cam Heyward and Edgar Snyder & Associates through a partnership with The Heyward House.
Cam established The Heyward House last year—a foundation to benefit children and families in need. The Heyward House treats children from KidsVoice to many fun outings, including field trips, a visit to the Steelers training camp, and a winter shopping trip to Dick's Sporting Goods to purchase cold-weather gear like coats and gloves.
The programs Cam and The Heyward House support also fund after-school physical fitness programs at cash-strapped school districts, and provide birthday presents for children who live in foster homes or in government housing. Cam is also raising awareness for childhood asthma— something he struggled with as a child.
The Foundation will also raise money to support research and treatments for people suffering from brain tumors, which is another cause close Cam's heart: His father, well-known Pittsburgh fullback Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, died in 2006 from a brain tumor.
The Heyward House was created so Cam could have a way to give back.
"I wanted to be able to connect and help kids throughout the Pittsburgh area, and KidsVoice is a great outlet that allowed me to do exactly that," Cam said.