About Community Outreach Committee
The Community Outreach Committee (COC) strives to improve the lives and status of women and children in San Diego through community service and by implementing on-going and special hands-on projects.
Join us to volunteer throughout the year and especially during our annual pro bono week service project, for a hands-on community service project, for the Halloween and Spring Read-Ins at Central Elementary School, and to learn about other exciting volunteer opportunities!
Fall and Spring Read-Ins
The COC oversees Lawyers Club's Partnership in Education project with the San Diego Unified School District, and is particularly excited to be planning the 20th Anniversary of our annual Halloween Read-In at Central Elementary School, a pre-K through Grade 5 school whose children face serious economic, social, immigration, and linguistic obstacles. At the Read-Ins, volunteers read, interact, promote literacy and serve as role models to the underprivileged children. A second Read-In occurs each Spring.
Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities:
National Pro Bono Week is October 23-29, 2016, and legal organizations nationwide are working to increase access to justice. Lawyers Club, through the COC, continues its commitment to prioritizing the legal needs of the disadvantaged by highlighting pro bono activities and volunteer opportunities during October and throughout the year.
Join Lawyers Club and the COC to get involved. Members: Login and JOIN the group "COC Pro Bono/Volunteer Opportunities Email List" to receive notifications of pro bono and volunteer needs in San Diego. There is great need in the community for your help! See detailed instructions to join a group or committee here. Also visit our COC Group Page for additional opportunities.
Here are a few of those pro bono activities:
International Rescue Committee: Week of October 23, 2016, 5348 University Ave #205, San Diego, CA 92105. Immigration attorneys needed to offer pro bono services during a Naturalization clinic. Training will be offered to volunteer attorneys prior to the clinic. Contact Claire Bergstresser, Volunteer Coordinator, at Claire.Bergstresser@rescue.org, to sign up for the clinic.
Musicians for Education, Inc. - Street of Dreams: Friday, October 28, 2016, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. City College, San Diego, CA. Help teen mothers who are high risk wards of the court trapped in the juvenile justice system by answering their questions about family law, criminal defense, tenants’ rights and employment. RSVP to Teresa Gunn at MackNGunn@aol.com.
Girls Scouts San Diego: 2016 Workshop Series, October-November 2016 (see dates below), 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Girl Scouts San Diego and KPBS seek to attract more children into the wonderful world of reading and to provide leadership through One Book, One San Diego community-reading program. Volunteers are needed to read to and engage with K-2 children during the workshops. Dates: Saturday, October 22 at Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library; Saturday, October 29 at South Chula Vista Library; Saturday, November 5 at Vista Library; Saturday, November 12 at El Cajon Library SDCL; Saturday, November 20 at City Heights/Weingart Library. Contact Dayana Silva-James, firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Hannah’s House protects children during difficult family transitions and provides services to families dealing with the stresses of family court, divorce, separation, and child custody concerns. Contact Susan Griffin, Executive Director, at email@example.com to set up a time to offer your services during pro bono week in any of these areas: Family Law, Landlord/Tenant, Conservatorships, Criminal Law, Trust and Estates, and Immigration.
Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, Holidays, 2016: Donors and volunteers are needed to adopt families this Christmas. Visit http://www.breakthesilencedv.org/holidays-of-hope/. Family law attorneys are needed to offer pro bono services with divorces and restraining orders; contact Kristen Paruginog, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girls Rising, San Diego: The Girls Rising mentor program is seeking Big Sisters! The program matches at-risk girls with mentors to provide support, and offers educational events throughout the year. Big Sisters provide a 1:1 relationship and are free to do whatever sounds fun and exciting with their Little Sisters. Contact Monette Levya, email@example.com, or visit http://girlsrisingsd.org/big-sisters/.
Juvenile Court Book Club, Inc.: Need adult volunteers for the Book Club and Tutoring Programs. The Book Club sessions serve incarcerated teens at both the Girls’ Rehabilitation Facility and Juvenile Hall. The Tutoring Program is offering volunteer opportunities at Girls’ Rehab and the hours are weekday afternoons and two evenings a week. The volunteers work one-on-one with the students in a broad array of academic subjects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Book Club, and email@example.com for the Tutoring Program.
The Casa Cornelia Law Center: The Casa Cornelia Law Center is a public interest firm providing pro bono legal services to indigent immigrant victims of human and civil rights violations. They have three programs for pro bono attorney opportunities. The Victims of Crime (VOC) program involves the representation of victims of serious crimes, including domestic violence and human trafficking. The majority of the clients for the VOC program are women and children. The Asylum Program represents individuals who are fleeing persecution in their native countries. The Children’s Program represents undocumented children who have come to the United States to escape domestic violence, civil strife, abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Each program offers the pro bono attorney an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better. Contact Katherine Paculba at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.casacornelia.org.
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program - Domestic Violence Program: SDVLP will train and mentor Lawyers Club members providing holistic legal assistance to female immigrant and refugee victims of family violence. Clients will receive culturally competent assistance not only with their protection orders, but also with safety planning, with locating shelters that accommodate their cultural practices, and with the resultant array of civil legal problems involving family law, housing, immigration, employment, finances, and assistance obtaining benefits. To kick off the pledge and 50 hours of pro bono resolution, SDVLP would like to provide a free MCLE (with hard-to-get elimination of bias credit) to members of Lawyers Club at an SDVLP open house. Free CLE: Date, Location & Time: TBD. Upon completion of 50 hours of pro bono work, SDVLP will award qualifying members with the State Bar Wiley M. Manuel Certificate of Pro Bono Legal Services at SDVLP’s annual volunteer appreciation event (the Presiding Judge attends and hands out awards).
Monarch and San Diego Housing Commission Partnership: Pro Bono Attorneys needed to assist families with landlord/tenant issues. These are families that have been awarded housing vouchers to move them towards self-sufficiency. The majority of the families are headed by single mothers who are survivors of domestic violence and are working to rebuild their lives. Contact Katherine Field of Monarch for more information at email@example.com.
Special COC Hands-On Projects
Additionally, each year the COC selects, manages, and completes hands-on projects in San Diego that benefit local organizations which further the Lawyers Club mission to advance the status of women in the law and society. COC volunteers plan and hold a fundraiser to fund the project, and then implement the work needed at the organization thanks to the funds raised by our volunteers.
Past special projects completed by the COC include:
10. Benefiting the San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest which offers a Women’s Resource Center, Latina services, services for victims of domestic violence, behavioral health services, youth centers, and more. COC installed a gate, built planters, painted staircases, and outside retaining walls. (2016)
9. Benefiting Teen Options (part of San Diego Youth Services) which supports pregnant and parenting adolescents, COC installed new flooring and lighting, painted, and provided new furniture to the main common area and the nursery; in addition, the COC supplied items for the organization’s wish list. (Dedicated 2013)
8. Benefiting Shakti Rising, a safe haven and home for women in recovery, COC created a garden to grow food, which helps with better eating habits and provides a gardening outlet that emphasizes spiritual growth, and developing business skills through the sale of goods at a local farmer’s market. (Dedicated 2011)
7. Benefiting the Women’s Resource Projectin Oceanside (a domestic violence safe house), COC built a front garden, planter boxes, a patio covering, a storage shed, renovated a playroom, and provided computers, furniture, and personal items (cribs, professional clothing for job interviews, toys). (Completed 2009)
6. Benefiting Ronald McDonald House, COC remodeled a room and bathroom at the Ronald McDonald House. (Dedicated 2006)
5. Benefiting Turning Point Home, COC created a patio, garden, fountain, and installed landscaping, for women in recovery. (Dedicated 2003)
4. Benefiting Sisters by Choice, COC created a library and improved living conditions for pregnant teens at Sisters by Choice, a safe haven for young women fleeing and recovering from gangs, drugs and prostitution.
3. Benefiting the Girls Club of San Diego, COC created an exhibit profiling fifty women in US history (law, sports, astronauts and others) for a permanent display at the Girls Club of San Diego headquarters, honoring the Girl’s Club’s 50th anniversary.
2. Benefiting Central Elementary School, COC created an inspirational Literacy Garden for the children at Central Elementary, providing a place to read, tutor and do homework in an artistic setting, by repurposing a blacktop area of the school and constructing a shady oasis for outdoor classrooms. (Completed 2000) Ten years later, COC organized to refresh and re-paint the mural thanks to the dedication of the original artist, Terri Carroll (Completed 2012).
1. Benefiting Center for Community Solutions, COC created an outdoor “play therapy” area at the headquarters for child victims of domestic violence so their mothers could receive counseling and legal services. (Dedicated 1998)