Wayne Law clinic assists individuals to have a warmer winter

DETROIT — The Winter Wishes program is in its tenth year of helping clients of Wayne Law’s Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic. This year’s program brought in more than 350 brand new items including winter clothes, boots, blankets, bathrobes, gift cards, hats, toys, kitchen essentials and other products. 

Fourteen families, including 14 children and 25 adults (the largest number of recipients since the program’s inception), will have a brighter holiday season thanks to the donation drive supported by students, faculty, staff, and friends of Wayne State University Law School. Additionally, the School of Social Work and various other family and friends “adopted” entire families this year. 

Erin Oleszczak, WSU’s Master of Social Work program intern, proudly standing behind the winter wishes donated gifts

The program is part of a semester capstone project for the clinic’s designated social work intern through WSU’s Master of Social Work program. This year that student was Erin Oleszczak of Plymouth. Oleszczak was supervised by Wayne Law Associate Clinical Professor Kathryn M. Smolinski, who is founder and director of the clinic. 

This year, gifts valued at more than $10,800 were purchased and donated to individuals and their families – surpassing the goal by $800. 

“Collaborating with the law school faculty, staff, and students to ensure the success of Winter Wishes has been an amazing experience,” said Oleszczak. “I appreciate the valuable contributions and participation from LAPC students and alumni, along with support from the School of Social Work and the Women’s Law Caucus, to warm up the holidays for so many deserving families.” 

The program's success is largely due to the Winter Wishes Warriors – the volunteers who played a vital role in creating Amazon wish lists, serving as “gift host” families for the donations, and finally wrapping and delivering the gifts.  

Donations to the program were accepted from November 13 through Dec. 1. The clinic also hosted a gift basket fundraiser to promote awareness for the Winter Wishes program. The gift baskets were made possible through monetary donations, as well as in-kind donations from Wayne Law Admissions and Wayne Law Development and Alumni Affairs.  

For more information about Wayne Law’s Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic, visit the website.  


Contact: Jennifer Kennedy 

Phone: 313-577-4629 

Email: Jennifer.kennedy2@wayne.edu 

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