Alameda County
Bar Association

Pro Bono Spotlight: East Bay Stand Down 

East Bay Stand Down (EBSD) is four-day event at the Alameda County Fairgrounds where low-income, homeless, and displaced military veterans receive services ranging from haircuts and dental care, to help with legal issues, to finding a job, to  place to live. VLSC helped organize volunteers for the legal services tent on Friday September 12, 2014. Legal volunteers helped thirty veterans with debt collection defense, divorce and custody issues, estate planning, and landlord/tenant issues.

A big thank you to our team of volunteers who helped with intake and triage and our subject matter experts for providing much needed legal services!

Legal Volunteers at East Bay Stand Down
Legal Volunteers at East Bay Stand Down

We caught up with volunteer Christine Bentivoglio, Senior Privacy Program Manager, Global Privacy Office and Enterprise Risk, at VISA Inc., and asked about her experience.

Why was it important to you to volunteer with us at EBSD?

I feel it was important to volunteer at EBSD as my dad was a veteran and I believe that we have a duty to help those who fought to keep this country safe.  I also feel that this opportunity, or any volunteer opportunity, allows us as individuals to come together as a whole to make a difference.  If every person in this country would volunteer once a year or even once a month, what a difference we could make in this world.

What is your best/biggest takeaway from the day?

I had two takeaways from volunteering at EBSD.  First, this event reminded me that we, as a society, still have so much to do and I hope that this kind of work continues and that I have the chance to be a part of it.  Second, and more importantly, I realized that there is a group of people out there who are trying very hard to be hardworking, contributing members of society.  They deserve our respect and, if needed, a little help for them stay on that path.

What would you say to a colleague thinking about volunteering their time?

I would say that volunteering at EBSD or any other volunteer opportunity is a fulfilling experience.  It will open your eyes to others’ situations and provide a bit of help.  Just a few hours out of your day can make a significant difference in someone’s life, as well as give you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

2014-09-12 11.04.21
Agnieszka Adams, Margaret Roisman, Carolyn Henel, Kelly Rodriguez
2014-09-12 10.57.50
Christine Bentivoglio and Amy Talarico
2014-09-12 10.45.29
Eve Pearlman with vets
2014-09-12 11.06.25
Miriam Chiappetta and Hilarie Atkisson