Community Service April 24, 2008

Alston & Bird Aids Bethune Elementary Families Affected by Tornado

ATLANTA (April 24, 2008) – At the request of social workers from Bethune Elementary School, Alston & Bird LLP has partnered with several other area law firms and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta to address the immediate needs of families affected by the tornado that touched down in Atlanta on March 14. Together, attorneys and staff from the firms collected funds to provide Wal-Mart and Publix gift cards, as well as school uniforms, flashlights and toys, for the families of Bethune.

On Tuesday, April 15, representatives from the participating firms delivered the gifts to Bethune Elementary. “It was great to have organized a giving project with the other firms since, collectively, we were able to do more for those affected by the recent tornado,” explained Cheryl Naja, Pro Bono-Community Service Coordinator at Alston & Bird.

The Metro Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council (MACVC) reached out to the law firms who volunteered in Vine City last year as part of “ServiceJuris,” an annual day of service for the legal community, and put them in touch with the United Way.

“One of the greatest strengths of United Way is its ability to pull together community resources. We are grateful to the law firms and the Metro Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council for its fast response in helping us address the needs of the families,” said Carin Wiggins, executive director of volunteer services at United Way.

According to local social workers, the school is still in the process of locating some of their displaced families. Like many others across the state affected by the storm, there will be those in the Bethune community who will need long-term assistance. During a conference held by United Way in the immediate wake of the storm, it was estimated that it would take up to a year for some residents to fully recover from the storm damage.

For more information on how United Way is assisting in the long-term storm recovery, visit To find out more about the MACVC, contact Linda Woodworth at

To download the full press release, please click here.

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