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Trial News


A Treasure Hunt for Good

Maureen Leddy May 26, 2022

Photo of AAJ members sorting and organizing items at the Elder Love thrift store


Many older adults need help with day-to-day activities such as housekeeping, cooking, medication management, transportation, personal care, pet care, and more—yet not all can afford it or qualify for free or subsidized help. Enter Trial Lawyers Care (TLC), an AAJ initiative to encourage, recognize, and organize trial lawyers who contribute to their communities through volunteer and charitable activities that serve the public good. TLC partnered with AAJ’s Women, Minority, and LGBT Caucuses and the New Lawyers Division at this year’s Winter Convention in Palm Springs, Calif., for a service project aimed at assisting these older adults.

AAJ members volunteered for one of two shifts at the Palm Springs-based nonprofit Elder Love USA—which helps middle-class older adults who make too much to qualify for free help but not enough to pay traditional in-home care and services rates. Volunteers worked at Elder Love’s thrift store: They received and sorted donations, and priced, tagged, cleaned, and organized them. All proceeds from Elder Love’s thrift store support the nonprofit. AAJ members can also contribute to Elder Love through its AmazonSmile wish list of items that local seniors and the thrift store need to be successful.

One of the volunteers, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., attorney Leslie Kroeger jumped at the chance to “meet other AAJ members in a casual setting and strengthen connections within the organization.” Kroeger added that “Elder Love is a great, local organization, and it was nice to get to know other members while giving back at the same time.”

Birmingham, Ala., attorney Leanna Pittard said “the mission of Elder Love tugged at my heart strings.” Her firm handles elder abuse cases, and she welcomed “the additional opportunity to reach out to this underserved demographic.” The experience was “really fun,” Pittard added, comparing sorting thrift store donations to a “treasure hunt” where volunteers uncovered unusual things like bone china serving pieces from England with the original price tag still affixed. Pittard said that “volunteering with other AAJ members and showing each other ‘finds’ was great—it was interesting to see what drew everyone’s attention.”

Pinellas Park, Fla., attorney Nicola Larmond-Harvey called Elder Love’s mission “impressive,” adding that “caring for the elderly and enabling them to stay in their own home is a wonderful endeavor, and using the revenue from the store to fund the services is brilliant. And they set themselves apart by selling items that are not typical of a thrift store.” Larmond-Harvey said “it was a great day, and it was satisfying when we realized we had cleared out the entire storeroom. It’s so important to add some value and leave a positive impact when we gather as an organization.”

To donate to Elder Love, visit https://www.elderloveusa.org/amazon-smile. To volunteer for the Annual Convention service project, email membership@justice.org