This week begins the annual holiday year-end sprint. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, many of us dash from meetings to holiday parties to fundraisers and everything in between in hopes of wrapping up last minute business before spending the holidays with friends and family to wind down the year.

As this yearly ritual falls upon us, I like to use the time to remind myself of what matters most. I am thankful for my beautiful wife and children and my family and friends who enrich my life. I am deeply thankful for the employees of our firm and their daily contributions to our organization. While our employees have various backgrounds and interests, nearly all of them share a deep commitment to civil and community engagement. Collectively, our employees spend countless hours volunteering both time and resources and sit on the boards of many local non-profits and foundations. This commitment to serving others is a powerful theme in our firm and the holidays are often a time when people are in need of the help offered by those willing to lend a helping hand. One of the organizations that our firm proudly supports is Gilda’s Club Chicago. Gilda’s Club Chicago – on which I serve on the board of directors – is a wonderful organization that strives to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. The organization fills a critical need for those living with cancer, as well as their family and friends looking for support during their loved one’s cancer treatment. Last year, Gilda’s Club Chicago hosted more than 17,000 visits and provides 350 free activities per month at sites throughout Chicagoland.

This week, as you enjoy time with your family and gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I encourage you to consider supporting Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is an online, nationwide effort on Tuesday, December 3rd to raise money for charities nationwide. Last year, over 2,500 charities participated and were able to raise more than $10 million for those in need. Initiatives like Giving Tuesday are great ways for organizations like Gilda’s Club to bring people together for a cause. The holidays can serve as a great reminder for us all that there are many ways to get involved and make a difference. Whatever your passion or focus, getting involved and serving others can enrich your life and provide valuable insight into what is happening in the community. Please consider making a gift – of any size – to Gilda’s Club Chicago. With your help, Gilda’s Club Chicago can continue to provide free cancer support for people living with cancer, as well as their family and friends. To show your support, “like” the organization on Facebook (GildasClubCHI) and follow them on Twitter (@GildasClubCHI) to share #GivingTuesday posts. Use the hashtag #FriendofGilda to show that you are a Friend of Gilda. Next week, I will follow up on the importance of corporate social responsibility and #GivingTuesday. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.