On Saturday evening, January 28th, the staff at Cona Elder Law, an elder law firm based in Melville, volunteered to help NYC’s homeless poor by hand delivering food and clothing to over 100 people during a late night relief mission known as “Midnight Run.” The firm raised money to purchase, bag and box the items that filled three vans.
This is the 4th time that Cona Elder Law has participated in the program. The firm is one of only a few private companies that participates in this effort. In over 1,000 relief missions a year, most of the volunteer groups are from churches, synagogues, schools and other civic groups.
Some of the items given to the homeless who met the Cona Elder Law staff at several different locations in Manhattan were coats, sweaters, socks, winter hats, gloves, back packs, toiletry kits, thermals and 150 meals donated by The Bristal Assisted Living.
The essence of Midnight Run is to create a forum for trust, sharing and understanding rather than just the exchange of goods.
“It is not only a good deed but a reality check to remind us of how fortunate we are,” says Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner, Cona Elder Law. “It is meaningful not only to the homeless people we help that night but to our staff who work together and want to give back to those who are less fortunate. This “run” was so successful that we have decided to make it an annual event.”
Cris Barcia, Cona Elder Law paralegal, has participated in the Run since the firm began its involvement. This year, Cris found that there were more homeless women than before. “I realized that a homeless person could be anyone, and I gained more respect for them,” explains Cris. “Basically, they have insufficient resources for housing so they are forced to live in the elements.” Cris reported that the people were appreciative, resourceful with a strong will to live decently.
Marcus O’Toole-Gelo, associate attorney at Cona Elder Law, participated in Midnight Run for the first time. “It was a great feeling to make an impact on so many people who were truly thankful,” says Marcus. “The operation and group organization made it easy to help.”
According to Nancy Christiansen, Cona Elder Law paralegal, “I was gratified to help the people I met who were respectful and some of whom wanted to share their stories. One of the reasons I joined Cona Elder Law was because of the firm’s charitable contributions.”
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News for the past 6 years and has been a finalist in the HIA Business Achievement Awards. Cona Elder Law is also recognized for its charitable works and has received the Outstanding Corporation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Investor’s News Daily, USA Today, The Daily News, The New York Post, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, WLNY News 55 and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM, WBAB and WFAN.