Who We Serve
With your generous contributions, the Foundation has made a positive impact on communities throughout Anne Arundel County. Here are some of the causes we support.
Supporting Children in Court
Each year, the Bar Foundation holds its annual Barristers' Ball to raise money for the Anne Arundel Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Founded by AABA members in 1997, the non-profit CASA provides legal support to abused and neglected children, and strives to place them in safe, permanent homes. Since 2006, the Barristers’ Ball has raised nearly $120,000 to support the CASA mission.
Providing Comfort to Families in Need
In 2018, the AACBF continued the successful Thanksgiving Dinner Campaign for the seventeenth year. Through this program, the Foundation raises fund to provide Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings to low-income families in our county. Members deliver the Thanksgiving dinner supplies to community centers where they are distributed to the families on the Monday before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, remaining funds are donated to Food Link, a local nonprofit organization that provides emergency food and other support to the working poor. Since 2002, the Foundation has raised more than $80,000 through the Thanksgiving Dinner Campaign.
During the holidays, the AABA also collects Christmas gifts for needy children through our Angel Tree Program, which is so-sponsored by the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County and the Office of the Clerk of the Court. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the AABA invites members to select an Angel Tree Card bearing the name, age and size of a local child in need. The members then provide wrapped gifts containing new toys and clothes, which are delivered to the child's family one week before Christmas.
Encouraging Student Success
To help underserved students succeed in school, the Foundation organizes a Back-to-School Backpacks Campaign each summer. We partner with the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services and Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and work with them to purchase backpacks filled with school supplies for county public school students. Since beginning this campaign in 2003, the Foundation has collected more than $50,000 to assist disadvantaged students.
Inspiring Youth Interest In the Law
The Foundation also encourages local youth to expand their interest in and knowledge of the law by sponsoring an annual High School Essay Contest, which is open to public and private high school students. Over the past 20 years, nearly 3,000 students from 11 county high schools have submitted essays. The Foundation presents cash awards to the top three students. Many past winners of the essay contest have gone on to pursue degrees and careers in the law or public service.
Ensuring Access to Justice
Through the AABA Community Service Division, we support efforts to ensure that all citizens have equal access to justice, especially those facing economic challenges. Programs supported by our members include the Ask-A-Lawyer in the Library program, which provides up to 20 minutes of free legal advice to individuals who do not qualify for legal service programs, but who still cannot afford legal counsel.
For the past four years, AABA members have also volunteered to assist at the Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day. During this day-long event, attorneys provide legal advice and services to homeless individuals in our area. This year, more than a dozen attorneys participated in the event and provided guidance to 88 homeless individuals.