Community Service Projects

Welcome to the Community Service Opportunities section of the YLD website.  Community service is an implied obligation for all members of The Florida Bar, and as young lawyers we have a tremendous opportunity to positively impact our communities.  This page is intended to provide you and your affiliate community service opportunities now available, as well as project ideas you can implement in your community.  This page is frequently updated, so we hope you will check back often.  If you have any questions, please contact the YLD Community Service Chairs, Web Melton, wmelton@bushross.com, and Stephanie Cagnet Myron, smyron@cagnetmyronlaw.com.

Community Service Opportunities & Ideas

Florida Legal Food Frenzy Initiative

HUNGER IN FLORIDA
Feeding Florida is the state’s network of food banks working to solve hunger. Our statewide network unites 14-member food banks to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply to every community every day. Feeding Florida member food banks support more than 2,600 local charitable agencies, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need to ensure a hunger-free Florida. Each year, the Feeding Florida network provides food to the 3.3 million Floridians facing hunger, including 1.1 million children and 700,000 seniors. Feeding Florida is a unified voice regarding hunger and food insecurity by focusing on each community’s needs.

A few significant food shortage Florida facts include:

•  38% of the members of households in Florida are children under 18 years old
•  50% of food bank clients in Florida report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel
•  48% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage

THE INITIATIVE
September is Hunger Action Month, when Feeding America and member food banks ask everyone in America to take action to fight hunger in their community, all month long.  The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors is supporting Hunger Action Month by partnering with Feeding Florida to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more Floridians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making donations, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger.  So for the month of September, your Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors is challenging you to see how many pounds of food or monetary donations we can collect to end hunger in our communities.

Take pictures of your donations and report how much was collected at www.feedingflorida.com, including the name of your county.  We will see which affiliate collects the most donations. Thank you for helping us support such an amazing cause!

CONTACT
Robin Safley
Executive Director
Florida Association of Food Banks
robin@fafb.org

Alexandra Palermo
The Florida Bar YLD Board of Governors
Burr & Forman LLP
apalermo@burr.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Courtney Cox
Senior Account Executive
Moore Communications Group
courtneyc@moorecommgroup.com

Reading Is Fundamental

The mission of the RIF is to literate America by delivering new, free books to children and families in need and encouraging each child to select a book that interests them.  RIF currently has a network of over 400,000 volunteers distributing books in schools, homeless shelters, and community centers.  Please visit the following link to find out how you can get involved in your community: http://www.rif.org/us/index.htm.

Civics in the Classroom

Several organizations help attorneys bring civics education into the classroom.  Justice Teaching is an initiative within Florida created by Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis. The ultimate goal of this program is to pair a legal professional with every elementary, middle, and high school in the state of Florida.  If interested, please visit: http://www.justiceteaching.org.  A similar national organization is Liberty Day, which offers a curriculum for teaching schoolchildren about our nation’s founding documents.  If interested, please visit: http://www.libertyday.org.

Morning/Afternoon at the Courthouse

In addition to civics education in the classroom, several young lawyer affiliates host half-day events at the courthouse, such as meetings with the judiciary, that are open to members of the bar, law students and those interested in a legal career, or members of the general public.  The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division offers grant funding to support these projects.  Applications and information are available on the local affiliate section of this website.

Holidays in January

Many affiliates host holiday celebrations in January with toy drives or parties for underprivileged children who may not have celebrated the December holiday season with gifts or cheer.  The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division offers grant funding to support these projects.  Applications and information are available on the local affiliate section of this website.

Toiletries For Tots

The YLD launched a recent program dubbed Toiletries For Tots.  Many non-profit organizations, such as day nurseries for underprivileged children, shelters for abused women and children, and homeless shelters, seek donations of travel-sized toiletries to give their clients who would not otherwise have proper hygiene products.  To meet that need, YLD representatives bring toiletry items to each board of governors meeting to donate to a local organization.  The response has been overwhelming.  At more recent meetings, as part of their efforts with Project Street Youth, YLD representatives have collected toiletries to donate to organizations that work to combat issues facing homeless youths in Florida.  These are simple and effective community service projects you can implement in your community.  Please contact the YLD Pro Bono & Community Service Chair, Edward McCarthy, with any questions about this successful program.

Interviewing for Success

The Clearwater Bar Association Young Lawyers Division received an Outstanding Project Award at the 2010 Affiliate Outreach Conference for its Interviewing for Success project.  Interviewing for Success is a series of workshops designed to assist foster children who are transitioning out of the foster care system and into the general workforce.  In the workshops, young lawyers provide the following services: (1) administer mock interviews; (2) critique and provide constructive criticism; (3) provide other potential interview questions and sample answers; (4) assist in resume writing; (5) assist in completing job applications; and (6) give advice on appropriate interview attire.

The goal of the Interviewing for Success program is to provide participants with the materials necessary to present themselves in a professional manner to potential employers and secure employment.  A more detailed synopsis of the program can be found by clicking here: Interviewing for Success Grant Application and Interviewing for Success Booklet.  Or, you may email Joshua Chilson.

Lawyers for Literacy Spelling Bee

The Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section received the Most Outstanding Public Service Award at the 2011 Affiliate Outreach Conference for its inaugural Lawyers for Literacy Spelling Bee.  The event is a friendly competition between two-person teams (with at least one attorney) in an old fashioned spelling bee tournament.  The spelling bee benefits adults who wish to learn to read.  As a profession built upon reading and writing, the Lawyers for Literacy Spelling Bee is a natural fit for the legal community to promote volunteerism, raise funds, and increase awareness for literacy.

More information about the event is available by clicking here: 2011 Lawyers for Literacy Spelling Bee Fact Sheet.  Or, you may email Daryl Gottlieb.

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