YLD offers foster kids words of encouragement

(Photos courtesy of ABA)

“There is no one quite like you!”

“You have so much potential!”

“I just want you to remember that you are awesome and you can get through anything!”

These were just some of the “words of encouragement” that attorneys from the Young Lawyers Division wrote to foster children at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

The cards were part of a pop-up public service project spearheaded by Brandi Pikes, a lawyer with Winston & Strawn in Houston and YLD’s director of pro bono and public services. The 215 cards collected in 24 hours were to be sent to Braid Mission in San Francisco, an organization that mentors foster youth.

The group also collected 120 hygiene products (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and African-American styling products) to be donated to the Home of the Innocents in Louisville, which provides residential and community-based behavioral health services, therapeutic foster care and adoption services, supportive services for young adults experiencing homelessness and long-term care for children with complex medical needs.

This public service project originated in 2021 during the pandemic, when Pikes put out the word for young lawyers to send her encouragement cards for foster children. In about 30 days she had 1,200 cards to bring to a foster organization in Dallas.

Pikes, who is the YLD representative to the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, plans another pop-up event at the YLD spring meeting in Omaha.

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