Osler Lawyers and Staff Give a Day’s Pay in Recognition of World AIDS Day

Michael Fekete

Dec 17, 2015

When the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) approached Osler’s Michael Fekete, he knew he wanted to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Instrumental in introducing the Give a Day to World AIDS campaign to Canadian lawyers, this Osler senior technology partner became Co-chair of the legal community fundraising campaign in support of SLF and Dignitas International. These two Canadian humanitarian organizations are working together to achieve a world without AIDS.

The Give a Day campaign, which was founded in 2004 by family physician Dr. Jane Philpott – who has since been appointed Canada’s federal Minister of Health in November 2015 – encourages individuals to donate a day’s pay to either SLF, which works with community-based organizations to provide care and support to sub-Saharan Africans affected by HIV/AIDS, or Dignitas International,  which works with patients, health care workers, researchers and policymakers to tackle barriers to care in resource-limited communities.

The Give a Day legal campaign, which Michael co-chairs, along with partners from two other law firms, has raised more than $3,000,000 since 2006, over $1,000,000 of which has been donated by Osler lawyers and staff across the firm. In 2015, Osler’s donations were up by more than 16 per cent compared to the previous year.  

Lawyers Join the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

“In 2005, I was challenged by the Stephen Lewis Foundation to introduce the legal community to the Give a Day (GAD) Campaign. 

I understood then, and believe even more today, that simple ideas can have disproportionately positive impacts when people work together. This is clearly borne out in the case of GAD. By tapping into the broad support among colleagues across Osler’s offices, and throughout the legal community, millions of dollars have been raised. 

Our 2015 Campaign within Osler ended with an additional $140,000 of donations made by Osler lawyers and staff.

It is deeply satisfying to have helped to launch GAD’s legal community campaign. Proof positive that we have the power to make the world a better place by working together.” 

Michael Fekete

Michael Fekete
Technology Partner (Toronto)
mfekete@osler.com

Along with the Give a Day initiative, Osler has also provided pro bono legal support for AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization co-founded by Stephen Lewis and Paula Donovan.

Read more about our pro bono work in support of AIDS-Free World.