The recent snowstorm gave me the opportunity to watch the Netflix series “Tidying Up,” which highlights how we can benefit from eliminating things from our life that do not “spark joy.” I started thinking about this at a large law firm or office, where there are often supplies that people no longer use and are no longer needed and how, as a young person in an office, organizing a cleaning session for the office could be a great way to get involved and help others.
I recently wrote about commitment to a good cause for the New Year and highlighted some programs in Maryland’s prisons. A 2016 Experimental Sites Initiative of the United States Department of Education’s Pell Grant program, Second Chance provides post-secondary education to incarcerated students. Research shows that those who participate in educational programs while incarcerated have a significantly better chance of successfully transitioning into society and finding employment, as well as lower rates of recidivism. This program does amazing things for the students, and don’t take my word for it but read this article from a past student of the program who is currently enrolled at University of Baltimore.
The program has dedicated students but needs supplies to help the students through their curriculum. Many of the unused legal pads or pens with last year’s design or even some extra printer papers, folders, highlighters can go a long way to help the students excel in their college level courses. Going through the supply closet and making space for the newer products means getting rid of the old products. So that one lawyer who retired that only used marble notebooks is gone? His or her notebooks can have a place to go to. It could be as simple as a box in the supply room for that unused or out-of-date supplies!
Having a box or method to donate supplies is more than just a way to help purge your office of unnecessary supplies. It is a way to “spark joy” for others and help students who are incarcerated have a richer educational experience. It is also a way to spread the word about this fantastic program at University of Baltimore so that people can think about helping people through a college education — something those of us in the legal world know is incredibly valuable. Here’s more information on the Second Chance program and how you can help.