Connecting with my community, giving back, and making positive changes have always been my priorities. As #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, approaches, I am reminded of my late father. He served as a Pastor and taught me the importance of accepting and supporting individuals no matter their status, race, religion, or sexual orientation. He inspired me to immerse myself in meaningful causes and find ways to give back during the holidays and throughout the year. As a business owner, I have proudly integrated community service into the fabric of my firm. Whether donating resources and supplies to the homeless, participating in 5k races to raise awareness, attending fundraisers, or working on beautification projects around Orlando, my team and I are dedicated to giving back to our community. 

Throughout my time participating in community service activities, I have witnessed the homeless population increase in our community and throughout the U.S. Collaborating with organizations that work towards ending homelessness has become a focus for our firm. This year, we partnered with Wells Fargo and its customers to donate necessities such as toiletries and supplies to the homeless. One of my fondest community service memories was volunteering to hand out slices of pizza to the homeless in downtown Orlando. I was able to have conversations and connect with citizens in our community, invigorating a personal drive to help eradicate displacement and homelessness in the Orlando community.

Moreover, I volunteer with the non-profit, Serving Out of Love, an Orlando-based organization dedicated to helping the homeless. When I discovered the organization needed sleeping bags, my team and I donated ten. I recognize the privilege my colleagues and I have of living a safe life in Orlando, but I understand this is not the reality many face. While it may seem like some efforts are small, a slice of pizza means a hot meal for dinner, and a sleeping bag means a warm place to rest; the impact of giving is immeasurable. Community service has a positive impact, no matter the scale of volunteer work. 

Homelessness is a growing problem in the U.S., with over half a million people homeless and approximately 13,000 homeless people dying annually. Sadly, most have a projected life expectancy of just 50 years old. In Florida alone, there are over 31,000 homeless people. In Orlando, there are over 2,000 homeless people on any given night. Having met some of the homeless community in Orlando and learned about how large an issue homelessness truly is, I was compelled to find a way to help on a grander scale.

Giving back is a fundamental value of my firm. In the Spring of 2023, we are launching a new program to help fight homelessness called March Forward. This initiative will help raise funds to get the homeless off the street, collect donations that supply individuals with basic necessities, hand out warm meals, and more. Uplifting, supporting, and creating change for the betterment of Orlando is a passion of mine; with the new program, my hope is we will make positive and long-lasting change.

With the holiday season approaching, I encourage you to donate and spend your time as you are able. Give during #GivingTuesday, but don’t stop there. If we all commit even a small amount of time and resources, collectively, we can make an immense impact.

Rebecca L. Palmer, Esq. is a Family & Marital Law attorney practicing in Florida. She is the Managing Partner of the Rebecca L. Palmer Law Group, and she can be reached at