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Feeling the Joy by Giving Back

Each year, the team at Knopman Marks Financial Training chooses a different cause to support and spends a day volunteering together. Gathering at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen recently, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work serving food, bussing tables, and washing dishes to support the largest emergency feeding program in New York City.

“Giving back is woven into the fabric of our company,” says CEO Liza Streiff. “It’s a chance to help feed the hungry while doing something meaningful as a team.” The Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen’s mission appealed to Streiff, especially its social service efforts to help those it serves become self-sufficient and reconnect to their community. “We all felt such a sense of hope and compassion being there. I was struck by the people who serve there day after day, year after year. They treat each ‘guest’ with dignity and respect. That gave me joy.”

The firm also donated $5,000 to the soup kitchen in the name of Knopman Marks’ clients. “We’re grateful to all who support our company,” Streiff notes. “It’s our way of paying it forward.”

To personalize the spirit of giving this season, the firm offered each employee $500 to gift to a charity of their choosing. The team welcomed this opportunity to support causes close to their hearts, such as research into diseases that so far have no cure.

Streiff is grateful to be in the position to set off a chain of giving. “Giving brings forth joy for the giver,” Streiff says. “We’re celebrating this season of joy by giving to organizations that are meaningful to us.”

The Giving Tree: Employees Choose Charities to Support

Leigh Yanocha – Hudson County CASA

Leigh is a CASA Board Member and recently witnessed 5 adoptions at this non-profit, which finds permanent homes for foster children.

Ian Franklin – Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Ian lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 13. The work of this organization has a special place in his heart.

Danielle Barringer – Ronald McDonald House

This charity provided critical assistance to Danielle’s cousin when her newborn underwent many surgeries.

Bailey ConnorBowery Mission

This group helps feed the hungry and the homeless in Bailey’s own neighborhood.

Marcia LarsonAlzheimer’s Foundation of America

Marcia’s mother suffered for five years with Alzheimer’s. This organization is working diligently to find a cure and also helps family members and caretakers cope with the disease.

Howard KaplanCrohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Howard supports efforts to find a cure for Crohn’s disease in honor of his late brother.

Brian Marks – INADcure Foundation

Brian and his wife Erica are close with Leo’s family. He hopes a cure will be found for a rare neurodegenerative disease that affects Leo and others.

David Meshkov – Parkinson Alliance

David’s dad has Parkinson’s, and he hopes that the research and awareness promoted by this organization will put an end to the disease.

Jane RicciardiEpilepsy Foundation of America

Jane lost a family member to epilepsy and wishes to donate in remembrance of her.

Michael Verdi – St. James School in Philadelphia

Michael has tutored several students at this tuition-free middle school, which supports students in need.

Joy comes by bringing more love into the world and by giving our attention to the people all around us.

—Liza Streiff, CEO

Suzanne Riss is an author and Director of Communications at Knopman Marks Financial Training. Previously the award-winning Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine, she is a fierce advocate for issues facing working moms and an authority on work/life trends. Her expertise has been tapped in interviews by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CNN. Suzanne's third book, Work Disrupted, published by Wiley, was released in January 2021.