The Good that Bar Associations Do

By Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State

The generosity of bar associations to the communities they serve knows no bounds.

Now in its fourth year, the Genesee County Bar Association organizes a toy drive that in 2019 generated $4,500 worth of toy donations from its members. These gifts were sent to the YWCA of Genesee County and its Domestic Violence Program. An acknowledgment from the YWCA noted, “Without you, many children this year would not have been able to open presents on Christmas morning.” The YWCA acknowledgment detailed examples of how the donated toys provided young families with a merrier holiday.

“The real-life stories are the reason why we do this toy drive,” noted Mary Ann Wiater. “Knowing we made a difference in the lives of the children in our community is the greatest Christmas gift of all.”

The work of bar associations to support others spans the state and the calendar. Below is a very small sampling of the work bar groups do on behalf of others:

  • The Metropolitan Black Bar Association sponsors an annual backpack drive for young students returning to school each fall.
  • The Long Island Black and Hispanic Bar Association holds a winter coat drive early each calendar year, and the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association has a mitten drive and fundraiser to benefit the Safe Center, LI.
  • For 25 years the Albany County Bar Association has sponsored an annual Law Day 5K run to support its Foundation efforts.

Regarding foundations, many bar associations have active programs that welcome grant applications to support projects, programs and other organizations that advance the work of the legal profession, as well as providing scholarships to law students.

The New York State Bar Association’s Committee for Bar Leaders congratulates bars everywhere for their ongoing support of its members, the legal profession and others. Happy 2020 to all.

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