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Drake Legal Clinic provides gifts and Bieber for the holidays

According to mom, all her daughter wanted was Bieber. And Bieber she’s going to get. The faculty, staff and students at The Neal and Bea Smith Legal Clinic are no strangers to adopting a family for the holidays. But this year has been extra special. When Ronnie Hawkins met Jessica Swain at the doctor’s office and realized she was the mother of a family affected by a house fire in late August, she knew they found their family.

Swain has five children – ages 6 to 13. She is a single mom, and while the Red Cross set them up with housing following the fire, celebrating the holidays was still not going to be easy.

“I always look for a family in need for the holidays and then draft little elves to help me out,” says Ronnie Hawkins, legal assistant for the Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights. Hawkins then worked with each of the clinics to help sponsor one member of the family.

collection of toys
It’s no surprise the gift lists range from Hot Wheels and baby dolls all the way to art sets and coloring books. But it was painfully clear what the oldest (age 13) wanted: “anything Justin Bieber.” That’s it. Only Bieber. Justin Bieber she’s going to get – two tickets to his concert coming to Des Moines in July, 2013.

The cool part? The tickets were given by a Drake Law student. “I know how deliriously happy his concerts make his fans. I couldn't resist the chance to give that disbelieving, borderline-hysterical joy to another girl,” said the donor (who wishes to remain anonymous).

Law students are currently in the midst of pure exhaustion studying for exams, but that hasn’t stopped them from doing what they can to help.

For a family who lost most of their personal belongings, this holiday season could be one of heartache and loss. Thankfully, due to Ronnie Hawkins, her husband John Hawkins, the Drake legal clinics and the State of Iowa, Juvenile Court Services, this family will have a chance to celebrate this holiday in a big way.

As Hawkins so eloquently puts it, “Giving is most certainly better than receiving! Bring on the season!”
 
Date Posted: 12/21/2012
Last Modified: 1/4/2013 3:33:00 PM by Ann Van Hemert