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One Bar|One Community, many volunteering chances

A couple of Saturdays ago, I spent my morning in Cecil County cutting two-by-fours with a table saw for use on an outdoor deck. If you know me, this is very out of character, as I prefer to hire a professional to complete tasks outside  my skill set (and when there is the possibility that I may lose a finger or two).

As part of the One Bar|One Community Public Service Project, organized by the Maryland State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section, however, I was given the opportunity to spend several hours using power tools, hammering deck boards, climbing ladders and installing a soffit for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.

For the past three years, the MSBA YLS’ One Bar|One Community Public Service Project has scheduled monthly volunteering opportunities from August through May. The events range from serving food at a local soup kitchen (Our Daily Bread) to organizing donated food for delivery (Maryland Food Bank) to jumping into the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of January (Polar Bear Plunge).

As young lawyers, we are pulled in many different directions.  Between building a practice and starting a family, our time is precious. Finding time to give back to your community, however, is extremely rewarding.

As with pro bono legal work, I strive to do 50 hours of public service work a year. Some years, I blow that number out of the water; other years, I am lucky if I do half. At the end of any event, I always feels good about the work that I have done.

So if you are free on Sept. 10, the MSBA YLS will be spending the morning at the Maryland SPCA, cleaning out kennels, performing ground work and assisting the animals before they are adopted. The list of events will be posted shortly on the MSBA YLS’ new-and-improved website and, if you are interested in participating, feel free to shoot me an email.

The following collections and outreach programs have been scheduled:

  • Maryland SPCA — Sept. 10, 2011
  • Maryland Food Bank — Nov. 19, 2011
  • Toys for Tots Drive — December 2011
  • Polar Bear Plunge for the Maryland Special Olympics — Jan. 28, 2012.