Adams and Reese brings Christmas cheer to Goodwill employee and her family

Law firm continues tradition of giving back through 'HUGS' holiday charitable initiative

Published Thursday, December 14, 2017

(Front row, l-r) Debbie Woodson, Lisa Wilkinson and Nancy McCreight; (back row, l-r) Jason Gaskill, Shawn DuVall, Dontavia Smith, GoodPartner Coach Diana Olivieri, Laura Bauman, Ryan Owen, John Slitzer, Tammy Skonie and Helen WoodSARASOTA, FL – A standout Goodwill team member was recently granted a multitude of reasons to celebrate this holiday season as her family was selected to be the beneficiary of the Adams and Reese Sarasota office’s HUGS Program. Goodwill Manasota employee Dontavia Smith and her three daughters will receive items including a Christmas tree and decorations, a complete ham Christmas dinner from Publix, $300 in gas cards, clothing for all members of the family, and an extensive list of toys – including a bicycle, arts and crafts activities, numerous learning toys, and Barbie dolls – for the girls.

Smith, who is a single parent, has lived in Sarasota all her life, graduating from Booker High School. She has worked at Goodwill since April of 2015. She is one of the top hangers at Goodwill’s Mecca store and also works as a cashier; she is considered a role model who is always ready and able to pitch in when and where needed.

Her top priority is providing for her daughters. She sets her standards high so that her children will see the benefits of hard work and responsibility. Smith was just thrilled when her family was “adopted” by Adams and Reese – she is deeply grateful for all that has been done in order for her family to have an exceptional Christmas.

This is the 29th year of the Adams and Reese HUGS community service and philanthropic program – HUGS stands for Hope, Understanding, Giving and Support, and is the holiday charitable initiative through which the firm donates time, financial resources and assistance to more than 200 organizations throughout its service area.

“For the past six years, Adams and Reese has proudly partnered with Goodwill Manasota through our HUGS volunteer program to provide holiday gifts and necessities for special families in need,” said Jason Gaskill, Adams and Reese Sarasota partner in charge. “Our Sarasota team members enjoyed shopping for gifts and seasonal surprises for our family as well as providing them with necessities many of us might take for granted. We are grateful to Goodwill for continuing to provide us with opportunities to reach out into our community and help deserving families have a truly memorable holiday season.”

“We are thrilled by the generosity of Adams and Reese, which will help to make this the best Christmas ever for Dontavia and her children. Adams and Reese is a model of corporate social responsibility, always looking for ways that they can give back to the community,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “We can’t thank the generous team at Adams and Reese enough for reaching out to touch the lives of those in need in our community.”

For more information about how you can help make a positive impact on deserving individuals and families this holiday season, call (941) 355-2721 or go to


PHOTO ID: (Front row, l-r) Debbie Woodson, Lisa Wilkinson and Nancy McCreight; (back row, l-r) Jason Gaskill, Shawn DuVall, Dontavia Smith, GoodPartner Coach Diana Olivieri, Laura Bauman, Ryan Owen, John Slitzer, Tammy Skonie and Helen Wood

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit

About Adams and Reese
Adams and Reese ( is a multidisciplinary law firm with nearly 300 attorneys and advisors strategically located in 18 offices across 17 markets throughout the southern United States and Washington, D.C.  The American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms – The Am Law 200. The National Law Journal also includes the firm among the top 200 on the NLJ 500 list of the nation's largest law firms.