Allegheny County Bar Association to send 450 city students to school with new backpacks

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – August 18, 2008. Officers of the Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that the association’s Backpack Program will provide new backpacks to the 400 students of Grandview Elementary School in Allentown and 50 backpacks to children staying in one of the city’s homeless shelters. The Backpack Program, which is in its second year of operation, is coordinated by the association’s Public Service Committee with assistance from the Young Lawyers Division’s Public Service Committee, Pittsburgh Legal Administrators Association and the Pittsburgh Paralegal Association. This year’s program is funded by United States Steel Corporation, the Allegheny County Bar Association, and the Young Lawyers Division, as well as an anonymous member of the association and that member’s employer.

“Our attorneys provide thousands of hours of community service each year and we are always looking for projects that have a direct and positive impact on our community,” said Jay Blechman, president of the Allegheny County Bar Association. “While we know not every child is happy that the summer has ended, at least the students of Grandview Elementary School will have new backpacks on the first day of school.”

Attorney David Mitchell, who along with attorney Deborah Kutzavitch spearheaded this year’s program, said finding attorneys to volunteer is easy. “Our members will drop what they are doing to help in the community, especially when it involves children. We have more than enough people to help collect and fill the backpacks this year. Of course, we couldn’t provide this program without the generosity of our sponsors.”

Each student will receive a backpack filled with pens, pencils, a notebook, crayons, erasers, and markers. This year each student will receive a copy of That’s No Joke!, a book published by the association that teaches children the difference between a good joke and a bad one.

Last year students at Vann Elementary received backpacks.

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators, and paralegals.