This morning, many of our volunteers braved the rain to attend a special celebration to recognize the incredible success of the Generous Associates Campaign fundraising effort this past summer, in addition to our wonderful pro bono volunteers that continue to expand Legal Aid’s ability to make justice real for thousands of Washington, D.C.’s most vulnerable residents each and every year.
Eric Angel, Legal Aid Executive Director, kicked off the event, remarking how the Generous Associates Campaign had raised almost $1.5M this year because of the amazing work of our fundraising volunteers. He went on to say that a significant portion of our work is funded through this campaign and that its success is critical to the organization.
Gregg Kelley, Legal Aid Director of Development, noted that this year’s campaign set new records in many respects – the dollar amount raised, the number of firms participating (77 in all) and the 188 associates who volunteered as firm coordinators raising money from their colleagues. He then presented memorial glass blocks to the campaign co-chairs for their guidance and leadership of the campaign.
Eric remarked that the pro bono volunteers, represented by many of the attendees from several area law firms, are crucial to Legal Aid’s mission and provide an invaluable service to our clients. He turned over the remarks to Jodi Feldman, Legal Aid’s Supervising Attorney in charge of pro bono, to present the newly created Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award, which recognizes outstanding pro bono service, to Joseph Patry of Blank Rome LLP.
Jodi was effusive about Joe’s accomplishments, noting that he has been a shining star in Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program this past year. He has handled several housing conditions cases, including one that ultimately turned into an eviction case, and has encouraged his colleagues to get involved, as well. Jodi also mentioned that he exhibits extraordinary patience and understanding of the challenges that his clients face in their daily lives. And once Joe commits to helping a client, he isn’t deterred by obstacles that arise along the way.
In the words of one of Joe’s clients: “Whenever I called, he had time to speak with me. He explained things to my husband and me. He came out to our home on a Saturday to take pictures to bring to court because we can’t afford a smartphone. Joe understands people who don’t have a lot – we’re just trying to hold on, and he could see that.”
Legal Aid is so grateful to those in the law firm community for their generous support of Legal Aid’s work and mission. Today’s event was just a small thank you to this community for the daily contributions to our clients.