Community Involvement and Leadership – Eddie Farah and the Law Firm of Farah & Farah
Eddie Farah and the members of Farah & Farah are very active in the Duval, Clay, and St. Johns County communities and presently work with the following organizations:
Free Bicycle Helmets
Under Florida state law, “A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets.” To help keep Florida children safe, the law offices of Farah & Farah is giving away free bicycle helmets to children 16 and under. The next two give away dates are:
- Wednesday, August 3rd, 5pm-7pm at the Downtown Art Walk
- Tuesday, August 9th, 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Chik-fil-A on Roosevelt
For more information, go to www.keepjaxsafe.org.
For more details, click here.
Free Cab Rides
Farah & Farah picked up the tab for over 750 cab rides each for New Years Eve and the July 4th in order to make the city of Jacksonville safer.
For more details, click here.
Many of us are quick to forget how much a little goes a long way in supporting the community. You don’t have to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring lasting joy to a person’s life – sometimes all it takes is showing some heart and making a point that you care.
The lawyers at Farah & Farah are proud to have sponsored three seniors through the Jacksonville Bar Association for Christmas. The seniors signed up on the Santa Wish List and their names were provided by Aging True, Inc. Meals on Wheels. The law firm was happy to purchase and deliver the gifts on these individuals’ wish lists.
There is no better time to express such support than the holidays; however, it’s important all year-round to keep the wellbeing of others in mind and put into action how you can make a difference.
Farah & Farah had a presence at the 17th Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast held in Jacksonville on Wednesday, October 5. The event is put on by the shelter for battered women, Hubbard House as an annual fundraiser to raise awareness about domestic violence. Hundreds turned out at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Featured speaker, Vena Patton, told about the years of violence she endured at the hands of her ex-husband. Her speech brought everyone to their feet in a standing ovation.
Patton is represented by Farah & Farah in her personal injury claim following an auto accident in October 2010. She told the crowd about lying on the ground after the car crash and having a flashback to the domestic violence she experienced at the hands of her ex-husband. She expected he would come around the corner and do it again.
Her ex would padlock her in a room when he left and beat her when he returned. Often her daughter watched. Neighbors were told Vena was crazy so they didn’t come to her aid. She was shot, cut, beaten when she was pregnant and lost the baby. He would bring her flowers and apologize.
Vena said she did not come from a family of abuse, in fact, her parents are still married after 59 years. Hubbard House helped get her out of the eight year abusive marriage, helped clothe her and her children and gave her a place to live. They taught her self-esteem and how to set healthy boundaries. She returned to college, has been with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida for more than 13 years. Vena is engaged and now teaches others what domestic violence is and how to never be abusive or become abused.
Farah & Farah attorney, Corri Hunt, who attended the Hubbard House gathering is honored to represent Vena in her personal injury lawsuit.
The event is named after Barbara Ann Campbell who was the sister-in-law of former Jacksonville Mayor Jay Godbold, who was also in attendance. Campbell was shot and killed by her husband of more than three decades.
Hubbard House helps about 6,000 men and women every year and has been in the community providing services for 35 years. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Hubbard House has activities planned around Florida to promote understanding about domestic violence.
Farah & Farah participate in the annual Veteran’s Day Parade, in honor and support of true American heroes, our our active-duty military and veterans.
Florida personal injury attorneys (and brothers) Chuck & Eddie Farah featured on WJXT Channel 4 News discussing their own Bark vs Bite rivalry. Eddie Farah attended the University of Florida and Chuck Farah attended the University of Georgia.
Click here to download the Volume 3, January 2011 Issue which features topics such as reducing violence in schools and the importance of self-esteem.
The I’m A Star Foundation empowers youth with knowledge and resources that enable them to transcend barriers to success and unleash their inner greatness. To read more, Click here.
Florida personal injury attorney, Eddie Farah, explains the anti-bullying laws in Florida on WJXT Channel 4 News.
Farah & Farah played in the CRC 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, held by The Community Rehabilitation Center, Inc. (CRC). Farah & Farah is also a proud sponsor of the CRC program, which is dedicated to the goal of making lives whole for those living under various unfortunate circumstances.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is held in the heart of downtown combining art and jazz, and fans of both, with fabulous local food and wine over four-days.
With downtown exhibit space tight, the personal injury law firm of Farah & Farah jumped in and loaned its main downtown parking lot on West Adams Street so festival organizers could set up the main stage. The law firm then covered the cost of additional downtown lots for two days so festival space could comfortably expand.
“We love Jacksonville and love supporting an event that has a positive impact on the city. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is the second largest jazz festival in the nation and we encourage others to support this unique event and for everyone to attend,” said Eddie Farah, the firm’s founder.
Farah & Farah is already planning to lend its support to the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Festival beginning May 27, 2011, to be held in the heart of downtown where the theme is Make a Scene Downtown!
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival began as a one-day event in 1980 and has grown to one of the best festivals in the nation bringing talent such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, George Benson, Tony Bennett, Grover Washington Jr., Harry Connick Jr. and many others to Metropolitan Park and various downtown locations.
Farah & Farah is a proud sponsor of the Jacksonville Jazz Fest this year. The main stage of the event was held in our facilities.
Farah & Farah is once again the proud sponsor of the Jacksonville Marine Corp Half Marathon and Freedom 5K, to be held in downtown Jacksonville, October 2, 2010.
This is the seventh year Farah & Farah has sponsored the event.
“Eddie has been with us through a sponsorship of the race from the first year,” says Gayward Hendry, president of the event and retired Chief Warrant Officer for the U.S. Marine Corp.
Hendry and Eddie Farah met years ago when Hendry was an investigator with the State Attorney’s office in the Farah law building in downtown Jacksonville.
“I got to know him coming in and out of the building there and we became friends that way. He’s a gem, a very nice person,” says Hendry.
Last year the event raised about $25-thousand dollars to be distributed to the USO, Wounded Warrior, and directly to military families in need locally due to a spouse being deployed overseas.
About half of the funds raised last year were distributed for academic scholarships to children of those who have died in military service. Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit national organization established by Col. Oliver North and talk show host, Sean Hannity, distributed the scholarship funds.
The event is gaining popularity every year and if last year was any indication, upward of 3,000 to 4,000 people are expected to participate in the event. The cost to register is $40.
Hendry says without Farah & Farah’s sponsorship, “We couldn’t put on a race, pure and simple.”
Runners should register their interest at First Place Sports, which also directed the race route.
After gathering at Jaguar Stadium, the 13.1 mile will be run across the Acosta Bridge through Riverside, along Riverwalk to Metropolitan Park. The 5K will be run down Bay Street to the Wachovia Bank building along Riverwalk to Metropolitan Park.
The mission of Farah’s Readers are Leaders is to bolster literacy skills in students whose reading levels are at or below the State of Florida’s proficiency level. As a native of Jacksonville, Eddie Farah truly believes in the importance of earning a valuable education to achieve opportunities and brighter futures. Eddie Farah states “It’s important that students develop strong reading skills to succeed in school”.
The foundation that is funded by the firm begins early on in students’ lives, at the primary level with reading. Retired school teachers are engaged to work with students in grades one through nine in tutoring sessions after school. The sessions are twice a week during the school year and four days a week during the summer. For more information about Farah’s Readers are Leaders and Eddie Farah’s involvement with the organization, call 904.674.0905.
Learn more about Eddie Farah’s involvement in Farah’s Readers are Leaders:
“His commitment is unwavering,” says Betty Burney, Duval County school board member about Eddie Farah and his commitment to the Farah’s Readers Are Leaders program.
Farah’s support has allowed the program to hire four teachers to bring “at risk” kids up to their reading grade level. Facilitated by Kings Ridge Community Center on the Northside, to date 65 students from grades one through nine have raised their reading level at least one grade and at the same time boosted their self esteem.
Students attend tutoring sessions twice a week after school and four days a week during the summer.
To begin the program , support was sought from local businesses regardless of how small the gift. The Farah & Farah law firm was one of the first in line. “If more businesses reach out financially to build the necessary capital then we collectively can make a definite impact in the community,” Farah says.
Teachers use the Pearson Scott-Foresman exercise method which, according to Burney, is an excellent reading series. In it students are challenged to recognize words. They must use critical and analytical thinking skills similar to those required by the FCAT tests.
According to Burney, the first class that graduated showed a remarkable increase in reading fluency while reading comprehension skills increased. “Many started to pick up a book and developed a love for learning,” Burney says. She believes reading will develop into a lifelong passion for many of these students.
Many students come to school with a poor start says Burney. She notes many students were two grades behind in their reading levels and suffered from low self-esteem. Statistics show 30-40% of students in Duvall County cannot read at their grade level.
Burney and Farah first became acquainted when he helped with truancy issues in several challenged neighborhoods. “We found there were a number of children who were truant because they couldn’t read,” says Burney. Together they came up with the concept for Farah’s Readers are Leaders.
The program aims to help between 50-75 students a year. Burney plans to invite Farah to read to the children.
“I think he understands the power of education and he understands education is knowledge and knowledge is power. He wants to see everyone achieve and make Jacksonville a greater city. I’ve seen his heart and I see his heart now. He is a genuine person,” says Burney
Betty Burney knows what can happen without intervention. She has written the book, “If These Chains Could Talk,” (2005, Adkins Publishing) in which she talks to young men ages 13 to 18 in jail for the rest of their lives for murder. She assists them to become motivational speakers to encourage others not to follow in their path.
Why does he do it? Farah says, “We owe it to the community of Jacksonville. In this firm more than 100 people make their living and if Jacksonville was not here we would not be here. I feel it’s a debt I owe. Supporting the community gives us all a better quality of life.”
Eddie Farah & Farah & Farah are members of the voluntary Board of Directors that governs CRC. This organization’s goals are to maintain, operate, and develop programs to assure reduction in alcohol and drug use, help in the fight against crime, provide services for adults and juveniles, increase job readiness and placement among Vocational Rehabilitation clients and provide comprehensive rehabilitation employment services to families who receive public assistance.
Learn more about Eddie Farah’s involvement with CRC:
“Sam” is a 30 year old white male who is psychotic and referred by a local hospital to Community Rehabilitation Center on Jacksonville’s Northside. At the CRC, people without insurance, options, support or funds – like Sam – find a place to stay and medication to stabilize their condition. Without this place of last resort, Sam would end up in jail, on the streets or dead.
When Eddie Farah heard about the work of CRC he immediately wanted to get involved. “It has made a profound difference to us,” says Dr. Leon Seymore, President of the Board of Directors. “He supports us emotionally and physically to take broken persons and try to make them whole.”
Reginald Gaffney, the Executive Director of the Center says Eddie Farah has donated $15,000-plus over the last three years. “Over the last three years, he has stepped in and supported this agency and all of its special events such as a celebrity golf tournament and our annual board dinner. What we’ve been able to do is create jobs and increase the self-esteem of our clients,” he says.
Without the help from donors, the biggest mental health center in our area is the Duval County Jail, according to Gaffney.
For 13 years, Community Rehabilitation Center has dealt with the population no one wants to serve–people who have substance abuse problems, HIV, are indigent, homeless, transient and violent. About 60 percent are male and can range in age from 18 to 84. Hundreds come through the doors every day, some referred by local hospitals who don’t know where to turn.
Director of Operations, Stanley Twiggs says they direct clients to a group setting, drug treatment program, or medical appointment. “We do an assessment, have them see a therapist, and within 48 hours he sees the doctor. We find out what his needs are, a place to stay, clothing, we try to meet those needs,” he says.
Unfortunately the client load is increasing about 10 percent a year. Younger people are coming out of the foster care system, some are homeless with no place to go. Then there are victims of Hurricane Katrina many of whom came out of Louisiana with mental health problems. Dr. Seymore says state hospitals are also not providing care as long as they previously did.
Most mental health centers require Medicare or Medicaid coverage before you step through the door. CRC doesn’t turn away anyone.
“We are Christians,” says Twiggs. “We believe God will heal and help his people. Even though our people are outcasts and society doesn’t give them a helping hand, we do the opposite. We take a broken person and try to make them whole,” he says.
With so many clients in need, the support of donors is crucial to keeping the doors open at CRC.
Farah and his law firm felt compelled to offer their financial support. “We were looking around for something we could attach ourselves to, someone under the radar screen. How many help the homeless? Who speaks up for these people? Not enough was being done in that area of society,” he says.
JALA is a non-profit agency that provides legal assistance to low income residents of Duval, Baker, Clay, and Nassau Counties. Eddie Farah is a recipient of JALA’s Equal Justice Award and is a tireless advocate for the organization and one of its most dedicated volunteers.
Learn more about Eddie Farah’s involvement with JALA:
In 2003 Eddie Farah won the Equal Justice Award for his shining support of JALA.
“Eddie won for leadership, he’s a very outspoken, tireless advocate,” says JALA’s Christa Figgins of Eddie Farah, one of the local top supporters of JALA.
His fiscal support over the last five years has allowed improvements to the seven-story downtown Jacksonville building which offers a last resort for people in desperate need of legal help. And for an agency that relies on the community, Eddie Farah beats the drum whenever he can. “He puts his money where his mouth is,” she says.
Community support is essential for Legal Aid, a not-for-profit agency. Most people don’t realize that with the exception of some government grants, there is no federal funding that supports JALA. Funding comes completely from 46 different sources. The City of Jacksonville provides funds as do foundations and grants for which JALA must compete. Many support funds specify to what purpose they must be directed.
“The beauty of unrestricted funds like that contributed by Eddie Farah, is that they can go into the general fund. That general revenue helps us pay for a lot of support staff, salaries, a new roof or computers,” she says.
JALA has had recent success passing a city ordinance stopping so-called “Pay Day” loans where lenders charge exorbitant interest rates to give an advance on a paycheck. Many Navy personnel were being victimized. Farah & Farah’s support helped contribute to that project, one of the most aggressive and successful recent accomplishments of JALA.
Farah has been a big supporter of the concept of legal access for everyone in the nearly thirty years he’s been an attorney. “Everyone should have access to the justice system,” says Farah, “and our firm is committed to helping Legal Aid with the resources it needs to help low income individuals. Even middle class working people don’t realize just how expensive legal help can be until they are in desperate need. After all, our taxes support the courts and pay the salaries of all of the personnel. Why should money be a barrier to accessing the courts,” he says.
Farah & Farah has pledged $25,000 over five years and has been a big supporter of the JALA capital campaign. Pledges have allowed the agency to update its welcome center named the Major B. Harding Center for Justice. Harding was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 1991 by the late Governor Lawton Chiles after serving as a juvenile court judge in Duval County.
Thousands of individuals from four counties seek help with legal issues in Duval, Clay, St Johns and Nassau County every year with questions about housing discrimination, eviction, job loss and wages and predatory lenders, among other problems.
In 2003 Eddie Farah was recognized for being a volunteer of the year among the four service area counties. Figgins says he is one of the “leading lights” of the community heading up an active fundraising committee over the past 18 months. “He hasn’t missed a single meeting,” she says.
February 22, 2007
Fifth Annual “Together We Can” Campaign
In grateful appreciation for outstanding support, Farah & Farah P.A. was awarded the following certificate from The Justice Coalition of Jacksonville, Florida.
“Together we can, together we will, make Jacksonville safer.”
To learn more about attorney Eddie Farah and his involvement with the Jacksonville area community, contact Farah & Farah today.
- I’m A Star Foundation
- Farah & Farah Sponsors Three Seniors, Brings their Santa Wish List to Life
- Farah & Farah Supports Hubbard House
- City of Jacksonville Veterans Day Parade 2010
- Florida vs Georgia: A Battle of Brothers – WJXT Channel 4 News
- “I’m A STAR” Newsletter
- Anti-Bullying Laws in Florida – Eddie Farah on WJXT Channel 4 News
- CRC 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
- Jacksonville Jazz Fest 2010
- Jacksonville Marine Corp Half Marathon and Freedom 5K
- Farah’s Readers are Leaders
- The Community Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
- Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA)
- Working for Innocent Victims of Violent Crimes
- Local Attorneys Buy Easter Clothes For Children of Murdered Parents
- Jacksonville Attorney Gives Four Teens Scholarships For Trip To Obama Inauguration
- Letters from the Community