GiveNOLA Day: Open A Door ... Give A Child A Voice ...

Open the door all the way with a donation of $100, or open it half way for $50 or just crack it for $10 and you can help us help a Child In Need of Care (CINC), bring representation to one of the many Pro Bono & Juveniles (PB&J) unaccompanied immigrant minors or help to stabilize the family environment and create a sense of safety for a child caught in a divorce or custody battle. If you’re feeling really generous – open a house full of doors for $1,000. You can even celebrate Cinco de Mayo and ‘abrir algunas puertas’ for our Hispanic clients.

On GiveNOLA Day (GND), May 5th, The Pro Bono Project once again will participate in this 24 hours of fundraising hosted by The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF). Last year’s first effort raised $7,500 in funding for The Project from supporters locally and across the country.

This year we’re dedicating the funds raised through GiveNOLA Day to all of the work we do with children. We’re taking aim at a goal of $14,090* so we can fling open the doors wide enough to embrace all of the children who need our help through CINC, PB&J and the Family Law program.

No matter how wide you choose to open the door, or how many doors you choose to open with your donation, you’re taking a big step toward opening the door to bring civil legal services to the underserved children in the six-parish area we serve.

Who Are These ‘Underserved Children’ In Our Community?

In most cases, they are hiding in plain sight all around you: the sad child that you see in a mother’s arms at the grocery, the young immigrant child who’s escaped the trauma of war or famine, the pre-teen girl or boy caught in the middle of a custody battle between warring parents. Like the adult clients we serve, these children need someone to speak for them in the court of law.

Georgetown Law recently sent several students to The Project for Spring break. As part of their tasks, they worked with staff attorney Jesse George on several CINC cases. Here’s what one student, Nikhil Vashee said:

As I watched the relentless churn of custody cases being reviewed, I was depressed by the way that these parents neglected their children and I questioned whether the government process I was witnessing actually held out any hope for a better life for the child.

What struck me during this is that all the while, the attorneys on all sides of the disagreement fought vigorously for their client’s best interest, while the judge firmly and fairly attempted to weigh competing narratives to come to a decision to protect the best needs of the child.

It was amazing to see that The Pro Bono Project was helping to make the child’s voice heard when it would have been so easily lost amongst the debate of competing parents and government agencies. …

Read the full account of the Georgetown Law students’ experiences at: SPRING

How Can You Help?

On GiveNOLA Day, Tuesday May 5 from midnight to midnight, you and I can come together as one and open doors for the children in our community by making a donation to The Pro Bono Project at TPBP GND 2015. We encourage you to bookmark our TPBP GND 2015 link so you’ll be all set when May 5th rolls around.

Here are some ways to think about your GiveNOLA Day gift to The Project:

·   Crack the Door - $10

·   Open the Door Halfway - $50

·   Open the Door All the Way - $100

·   Open the Door Really Wide - $500

·   Open a House Full of Doors - $1,000-$4,999

·   Tear Down the Doors - $5,000 and up

In the meantime, if you have a donor advised fund with GNOF, you can make an advance donation from now through April 1st. Credit card processing fees will be waived on these donations so The Project gets the full amount. Gifts through donor advised funds are limited to $5,000 per organization. You may contact GNOF’s Allie Betts via email or at 504.598.4663 to arrange this.

We know that you donate time, energy and funds to many organizations and we don’t want you to have to choose among them – we want you to be able to give to us all. So, if all you have is $50 dollars to give and you have 5 favorite organizations, think about giving us each $10 or whatever you can afford to give. We’re masters, as are all our non-profit colleagues, at making a dollar stretch to do more.

On GiveNOLA Day the most important thing is not how much you give but that you actually take the time to go online and give by bookmarking our TPBP GND 2015 link. Every dollar you give means an open door for a child in need of a lawyer who will speak for them when it counts the most.

* The goal of $14,090 this year was created by taking the number of 2014 closed cases (1409) and multiplying by the minimum GND gift of $10.