Every year, the Marianas Office of Micronesian Legal Services Corp. spearheads a project to help put school supplies into the hands of needy students. This project relies on community help. “I love coordinating the MLSC Back-to-School Project,” said Jane Mack, directing attorney of the Marianas Office. “We have a generous community and a tremendous need, so helping to put these two together is an honor.”
This year, the project received wide support in cash donations, in-kind donations, and volunteer help.
Bridge Capital, LLC donated both cash and volunteer help, who came to the Marianas Office and helped pack book bags for distribution. The Bridge Capital volunteers were Vincent Bidez, Joe Guerrero, Tania F. Mesa, and Jordan Sundell. Donations of in-kind supplies were given by MLSC board member Robert Torres and also Thomas and Rose Shweiger.
Cash donations were provided by members of the legal community and other friends, including Jesus C. Borja, Thomas E. Clifford, Jill Derickson, Deborah Fisher, and Braddock Huesman, Kathryn Fuller, Christopher Heeb, and Kyung Park Heeb, Maya Kara and Bruce Mailman, Claire Kelleher-Smith, Juan T. Lizama, David Lochabay, Jane Mack, Samuel Mok, Richard W. Pierce, William Satterberg, and Marcia K. Schultz.
“The 2016 project was a success,” said Mack. “Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we distributed 114 bookbags with school supplies in them to needy children from every school on Saipan.”
MLSC is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation that provides free legal help to low-income people throughout Micronesia, including in the CNMI. “Our primary focus is being lawyers, providing legal help in civil cases, to poor people,” said Mack, “but the context in which we are working is the larger goal of community re-development.” The MLSC Back-to-School Project is a small part of that effort, to coordinate with community partners in trying to overcome barriers for poor children and to help those children by giving them the tools they need to succeed at their education. This year, MLSC and its community partners made the project a huge success.