It will come as no surprise that 2020 has been named one of the most challenging years in modern history. COVID-19 swept the nation we knew, and will likely leave us all a little bruised, but better as a whole, while we try to pick up the pieces we are left with in 2021. This year forced us all to look inward and recognize what truly matters to us most ― for that we can all be thankful. Though this pandemic turned our world upside down, it has allowed us to connect and support others in ways we have not been able to before. Grossman Yanak & Ford LLP (GYF) took the opportunity to do just that.
This year, GYF reached a significant milestone – a 30-year anniversary. Traditionally, this would be cause for a large celebration with friends and family alike; honoring the hard work and dedication that led to a history of success and service that spans three decades. However, like many organizations/businesses this year, we had to adapt and manage our expectations to this new era and overcome all the obstacles it provided.
To celebrate our milestone achievement, GYF came up with a unique way to highlight the firm’s long-standing commitment to the Pittsburgh community. In honor of our 30-year anniversary, the firm decided to make 30 donations to organizations handpicked by GYF staff. During a year that has seen considerable loss and hardship, it is fitting that GYF chose to give back to a community that has supported us since we opened our doors in 1990.
As suggestions for donation recipients flooded in from our staff, it was clear that amidst a year of constant change, our core value of “commitment to community” had not wavered. Robin Ryan, a Senior Manager in the Assurance & Advisory Services Group and one of GYF’s first employees, noted she was “thrilled to see that GYF was planning to contribute to local non-profits in honor of our 30-year anniversary. This firm has always had a commitment to reaching out to the broader community including organizations served by our not-for-profit practice, as well as through our staff’s contributions of board service, volunteer hours and financial support.”
The list of not-for-profit organizations that were selected is varied and far-reaching, and it reflects the values of the Pittsburgh community and the firm. Our causes include local groups that help the homeless, and provide food to those who are struggling, charities providing funds for healthcare and medical research, groups supporting education and the arts, and faith-based organizations. The list seemingly left no stones unturned.
Beyond the financial donation provided to each of these organizations, this effort to give back to the community allowed GYF staff to reconnect with groups to which they have personal attachments. Don Johnston, Tax Services Partner, has been a long-time supporter of Jameson’s Army – an organization that works with families that have children who have heart defects. For Don, nominating this organization for consideration was an easy decision, as he understands the support families need when going through this kind of crisis.
“I have been so impressed with the work that Jameson’s Army does for families of children with heart defects. Having a medically fragile child is heartbreaking and very difficult for the families of these children. Oftentimes, families feel alone and have very little help to overcome the many challenges of a long-term hospital stay. That is where Jameson’s Army steps in to provide assistance to both the families and the children during these most difficult times. Sometimes, just providing something as simple as a cup of coffee or a stuffed animal can make a world of difference when you think that you are alone and no one cares. Jameson’s Army cares which is why we are so happy to support this great organization”, Don said.
Like Don, David Kerin, Senior Tax Associate, also has a personal connection with the organization he nominated for a donation. After losing a close friend unexpectedly to suicide, David became critically aware of the gap in mental health solutions and support available to those struggling. David nominated NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania in hopes that our donation would help further research, expand their outreach, and educate individuals and organizations about mental illness to help those in dire situations like his friend.
“I was excited to hear that GYF contributed to NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania. During the new remote environment, it can be difficult for people to connect with loved ones enough to realize they are going through a tough time. This donation will help NAMI expand its education programs. The more people that are educated about the signs of suicidal behavior, the quicker it can be identified and corrective action taken. This applies whether it is for them personally, or someone that they know.”
As this year comes to a close, GYF would like to thank all who have supported us throughout our 30 years. It has been a true honor and pleasure to serve you and your organizations. We hope that the donations made in celebration of our anniversary have helped those in need and we look forward to continuing to connect with our friends and community in 2021.