Spotlight on Service
We are proud of all of the pro bono and community service projects that our attorneys and staff participate in, and some of our highlights involved:
- The District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Program’s Advocacy & Justice Clinic
- The HOPE Program
- The Peace Corps
- U.S. Friends of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Inc.
- Various charitable drives
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BAR PRO BONO PROGRAM’S ADVOCACY & JUSTICE CLINIC
Attorneys and staff in the Washington, DC, office have participated in the DC Bar Pro Bono Program’s Advocacy & Justice Clinic, a partnership with legal services providers and many of the District’s largest law firms and government agencies since 2010. The clinic strives to provide representation to clients on a range of civil legal problems, and the DC Bar’s Pro Bono Center reaches tens of thousands of residents each year.
Since 2010, more than 50 Epstein Becker Green attorneys, five of the firm’s staff members, and 40 Epstein Becker Green Summer Associates have dedicated over 6,000 hours to more than 35 cases. The cases have included SSI, SSDI, domestic, and landlord-tenant matters. The firm has successfully helped many of its clients reach favorable decisions. In July 2019, the firm will once again participate in the Advocacy & Justice Clinic and will take on four additional cases.
THE HOPE PROGRAM
In 2016, several attorneys in the New York office participated in the HOPE Program’s Interview Project. The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers living in poverty to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment and career advancement. In particular, with respect to the Interview Project, HOPE works with corporate partners to provide practice one-on-one job interviews to HOPE’s job seekers. These interview sessions help job seekers highlight their skills and achievements to position themselves as the best candidate for a new job. HOPE provides all of the necessary materials and follow-up so that volunteers are able to focus on their interaction with job seekers.
THE PEACE CORPS
David S. Poppick took a sabbatical, from April 2015 through June 2017, to volunteer with the Peace Corps in the country of Georgia, a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, bordering Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. He worked at a non-governmental organization (“NGO”) in Gori, Joseph Stalin’s birthplace. The NGO is a day center for 40 children, youth, and young adults with physical and mental disabilities. Mr. Poppick helped the organization strengthen its capacity to develop sustainable projects, manage resources, and collaborate with others to benefit the community. He also conducted trainings for youth volunteers and university and vocational college students about financial and employment skills, human rights, and discrimination. In addition, Mr. Poppick was a member of the Peace Corps Georgia Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Committee, which worked to spread awareness and encourage gender egalitarianism. He worked with an NGO that integrated children and youth with and without special needs through sports and activities in order for those without special needs to better understand the capabilities of those with special needs. Also, he collaborated with lawyers in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, who specialize in litigation disability and gender discrimination cases. Since Georgian courts sometimes consider U.S. law, Mr. Poppick offered the lawyers training and information about U.S. laws concerning all forms of discrimination, human rights, and equal educational opportunities. Mr. Poppick received feedback that some judges appreciated what he shared with the lawyers and found the information useful for their cases.
U.S. FRIENDS OF HOEDSPRUIT ENDANGERED SPECIES CENTRE, INC.
Over a decade ago, Allen B. Roberts and his wife, Heidi, first visited the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (“HESC”) in South Africa. Having experienced safari game viewing during earlier visits, they knew that they would have a memorable experience seeing cheetahs and other endangered animals receiving care and treatment at HESC, temporarily or for the rest of the animals’ lives. At the time, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts did not foresee their visit turning into a devotion yielding more than $2 million to benefit wildlife. While the benefits of cheetah breeding and release back into the wild caught their attention immediately, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were alarmed by escalating levels of poaching that has become devastating to rhinos and other species, and they realized how fragile the survival of some entire species would be without the kind of breakthrough genetic and nutritional research and medical procedures and intervention developed by HESC. The objectives of HESC include:
- the research and breeding of endangered, vulnerable, or rare animal species;
- the education of students and the general public in conservation activities;
- student internship programs;
- the release and monitoring of cheetahs back into the wild; and
- the treatment and rehabilitation of injured and sick wild animals.
Believing that they could assist with support after their return home, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts created the U.S. Friends of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife. While Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, together with their personal donations, have raised more than $2 million for the U.S. Friends of HESC, no costs are incurred for fundraising or administration. To accomplish this, they adopted a personal approach to fundraising that is different from most other nonprofit organizations. They set aside two weeks each September for a series of dinner parties hosted at their home, with a silent auction. A board member who owns gourmet markets donates the food to be prepared for each evening’s menu, and friends in the wholesale wine, spirits, and beer distribution businesses donate the beverages, while some of the most renowned restaurants in New York and lodges in South Africa are among the contributors of items for the silent auction. By this unique model, annual revenue of the U.S. Friends of HESC has reached about $250,000 during each of the past several years.
If you are interested in learning more about the U.S. Friends of HESC or making a donation, please visit its website: www.usa-hesc.org.
VARIOUS CHARITABLE DRIVES
Throughout the year, attorneys and staff at Epstein Becker Green organize a variety of charitable drives that support many great causes, including:
- The Bowery Mission
- Dress for Success
- Feeding the Homeless
- Gifts of the Heart for the Elderly
- Heifer International
- The Humane Rescue Alliance of Washington, DC
- The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
- New York Cares Coat Drive
- The RAINE Foundation
- Toys for Tots