MMM Gives Back During COVID-19 Crisis

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Volunteers from Morris, Manning & Martin are pitching in to help people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm’s efforts include delivering pro bono legal services to nonprofits, making personal protective gear, providing meals, raising funds and much more. MMMPact – the firm’s corporate social responsibility outreach – organized much of the response; several attorneys and staff members are helping on their own.

The MMMPact Committee in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office donated $5,000 to MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Associate Support Emergency Fund. The fund helps hospital workers handle personal emergency and crisis situations. It specifically assists with childcare expenses and costs related to spouses who recently lost jobs.

“We greatly appreciate all of your efforts and for this very kind and generous donation,” said MedStar Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Harvey Green. Ann Koepke, from the D.C. office, delivered the check.

The D.C. office is also collecting donations for the Capital Area Food Bank, with a fundraising goal of $1,000, while the Atlanta office is raising $2,500 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Helping the Helpers
The Atlanta office launched a “Helping the Helpers Initiative,” which honors healthcare workers while supporting local restaurants, some of which are firm clients. Organized by MMMPact Chair Christina Graham and coordinated by attorney Josh Kirschner with logistics help from Bri’el Gordon, the initiative arranged deliveries of 600 meals to several hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Recipients included Mercy Care – Atlanta’s only healthcare program for the homeless. The firm also bought lunch for hospital lab technicians and delivered dinner to a labor and delivery team at a large healthcare organization. Haydee Ochoa and Gordon also arranged deliveries to a downtown Atlanta hospital.

Participating restaurants and chefs include Alon’s Bakery, Antico Pizza, Atlanta Breakfast Club, Full Commission, Jack’s NY Deli, Little Bear, Savory Gourmet, Six Feet Under, Stop Think Chew, The Gathering and Tuza Taco. Two members of the firm – who prefer to be anonymous – donated $5,000, which covered more than half of the almost $10,000 cost of the effort over the past two months.

Pro Bono Legal Services
MMM is also providing free COVID-19-related legal services through the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBPA,) which connects volunteer attorneys and staff members with nonprofits and individuals in need. Washington, D.C. attorney Ashley Thomas answered telehealth questions for the Jewish Fertility Foundation, while Kirschner, based in Atlanta, delivered pro bono services to the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN.) 

“With very little notice, GAIN needed to re-establish our client emergency fund to assist our clients with basic needs, outside the legal assistance that we already provide,” said GAIN’s Executive Director Monica Modi Khant. “Without hesitation, Josh Kirschner stepped in and provided us critical legal advice so that we respond with this fund quickly so that our clients would not suffer even more during these already dire times.”

PBPA is the firm’s 2020 Nonprofit Partner. In addition to providing volunteers, the firm is helping raise funds throughout the year.

Masks, Caps and More
Meanwhile, Atlanta staff members including Donna Fuller, Marsha Adams, Mary Alice Bancroft, Rosaline Madray and Beth Schupbach made hundreds of personal protective masks, headbands to help hold them in place, and surgical caps. They shipped the gear to healthcare workers in Atlanta, South Georgia and New York. Paul and Barbara Arne and Koepke assisted through contributions and donations.

“While MMMPact organized some of the relief efforts, many people offered help individually,” said MMMPact Chair Christina Graham. “This grassroots generosity shows how deeply ingrained the concept of ‘giving back’ is to the firm’s culture.”