By Joan Goodchild, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – To say Shehzad and Catherine Rajwani are busy would be an understatement. The Shrewsbury couple are parents to twins, Sam and Lucy, as well as attorneys at the Northborough practice The Harbor Law Group, which was founded by Catherine's mother, Mary Casey, in 1997. Catherine is an intellectual property lawyer and a registered patent attorney. Shehzad practices in the areas of employment law and business litigation.
But amid the demands of practicing law and raising small children, the two say life would not be complete without the time spent each week assisting local charities as well. Catherine is involved with the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Services in Worcester County and has served on their committees and advisory council since 2008. Shehzad serves on the board of the Worcester County Food Bank.
The two met at Baylor Law School in 1999 and were married a year later. It was during her time spent in Texas when Catherine began to develop her love for philanthropy as a volunteer in a local soup kitchen.
“It was always the best part of my week, and I wanted to find something like that here,” she said.
Catherine said one of her missions in her work with the Salvation Army is getting the word out about the work the charity does for people in the community. The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) offers services, such as meals, lodging and counseling, for adults suffering with substance abuse and other issues who are trying to turn their lives around.
“Some of the stories you hear from people through this work can be so tragic and inspiring at the same time,” she said.
Catherine encourages people to tour the facility in Worcester to gain an understanding of what goes on there, as well as to shop at local Salvation Army stores. Proceeds from the stores are used to fund the ARC, she noted.
Shehzad became involved with the food bank, which collects donated food and distributes it through a network of partner agencies to help feed hungry people in central Massachusetts, after someone asked him if he would be willing to get involved.
“I's always been interested in the issue of hunger and how to help,” he said. “A lot of people don's know about the food bank and the good work it does.”
The couple said that while the demands of career, parenthood and volunteering fill up their day quickly, it is important to them to honor work-life balance, and to instill the values of charity to their children. The twins recently had a birthday party and, instead of gifts, guests were asked to bring donations of used clothing or other items to be given to the Salvation Army.
“We have so much, it's important to give back,” Shehzad said. “We want them to gain the perspective that they should be very grateful for the lifestyle we have – and to help others who need it.”