Melville, NY, January 4, 2013.....Many people donate money to charities but few give their time and effort. At Cona Elder Law (Cona Elder Law), elder law and estate planning firm based in Melville, 15 attorneys, paralegals and support staff teamed up and spent the day at the LI Cares warehouse where they sorted toys and coats, categorized food items, filled food orders for holiday delivery, unloaded boxes and repacked food to give to those in need as well as to Hurricane Sandy victims.
According to Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner at Cona Elder Law, the staff got back as much as they gave. “Our firm culture is very invested in charitable works and community projects. With the LI Cares project, not only did we provide hands-on assistance for a great organization, but we enjoyed the opportunity to work with each other in a different context,” says Jennifer.
Everyone was given an assignment and worked together in small groups under the supervision of Alisha Summer, LI Cares volunteer coordinator. One person took phone orders and ran them back to the group in the pantry, others packed up specific boxes of holiday food donations and another group sorted clothing donations and winter coats.
“We pitched in to help each other solve problems that arose while working in the 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse as we would do at the law firm when handling legal issues, such as Medicaid, estate documents, guardianships, etc.,” says Diana Choy-Shan, associate attorney. “For example, when we ran out of potatoes for the holiday food orders, the team decided to substitute stuffing and then had to figure out where to get it and how to log it in. Everyone got involved in this multi-step process.”
All of the Cona Elder Law staff members expressed how good they felt from this experience. “I’m thankful to Cona Elder Law for organizing this amazing project as this is something I probably wouldn’t do on my own, and I loved it” explained Kevin Wimmer, associate attorney. He also got to know people he works with every day in another way and spend time with others with whom he typically does not interact.
Alisha commented that Cona Elder Law was a tremendous help to LI Cares. “Stocking the shelves and packing food are critical components at our busiest time of year, and the Cona Elder Law team got us to a place where we could distribute the items to the people who would use them in a timely manner. In addition, the firm collected and donated over 60 pounds of food. I’m hopeful they will return next year.”