Attorney Michael A. Pichini (foreground), a member of LCAH’s Executive Committee, and attorney Ryan A. Mitchell sort food items during LCAH’s Anniversary event at the Maryland Food Bank on October 17, 2012.
Since May of 1988, when a handful of Baltimore area attorneys assembled and pulled together resources in order to address the hunger crisis in Maryland, the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger (LCAH) has received minor press but provided a walloping impact.
In partnership with the Maryland Food Bank and the Capital Area Food Bank, LCAH has assisted in serving the hungry across all corners of Maryland. This campaign has raised over $3,183,000 in the last 25 years, benefitting hunger–related initiatives and programs feeding thousands of individuals and families across Maryland.
But one of the more amazing facets of LCAH, says Tami Karwacki, campaign coordinator, is its network of “attorneys asking attorneys.”
When asked why she decided to become involved, Michele Bresnick Walsh, chair of LCAH’s executive committee, states: “I started helping simply because I was asked, but I continued because I had seen the impact of the organization.”
Walsh continues, “In the last five years, the needs have only increased as more and more families who live above the poverty line struggle to make ends meet for their families, and this is where I feel that we can step in and help.”
Karwacki concurs, noting that “although our distribution has increased by 130 percent, the number of those in need as increased also.”
This stat propels the efforts of LCAH’s volunteer attorneys.
“As a group, attorneys have more resources to share,” adds Mont Brownlee, an executive board member, “and I think that an obligation to look out for our neighbors comes hand in hand with that.”
The LCAH 25th Annual Campaign runs through December 31, 2012. To donate, or for more information, contact Tami Karwacki at (410) 727-8282, ext. 210.
The major goal of the organization is to end hunger in Maryland, and this goal stays in the forefront of every attorney involved. This is also a group that does not shy away from a challenge; members are presently focused on raising $330,000 by December 31, 2012, a would-be record for LCAH.
Walsh says that the organization could make more of an impact if more awareness was raised. “The target is the young lawyers of the future to keep the campaign going,” she says. “Just think, there are 36,000 attorneys in Maryland, and we only have 1,200 in our organization. If each attorney donated $20-$30, think of the impact we could have.”
Walsh notes that every dollar raised buys two meals, and for those who want to be involved, she says you can come down to the food bank and see where your money goes.
These attorneys are making a difference in the community, not for recognition but for joy of giving. And this organization strives for its benevolent output to greatly out-weigh the volunteers’ input.
“It is incumbent upon us all to look out for each other,” says Brownlee, “and to take action to assist those in their time of need. If the recent economic troubles have taught us anything, it is that it could be any one of us that falls on hard times.”
These partnerships are not ending anytime soon because they have a goal to reach and, according to Karwacki, “We will not stop giving until the need is met.”