Ballard Spahr is being honored today by Bright Beginnings, a nonprofit child and family development center serving homeless families in Washington, D.C., as the organization’s 2013 Pro Bono Champion for Children. The firm is being recognized for its pro bono assistance to Bright Beginnings, as well as its commitment to the health and welfare of children and families.

Bright Beginnings provides homeless children with a safe, nurturing educational environment, preparing them to enter kindergarten ready to learn and helping their parents stabilize their home lives and become self-sufficient. The center serves about 185 children annually whose families are living in crisis shelters or transitional housing.

Established in 1991, Bright Beginnings has engaged attorneys from Ballard Spahr’s Washington office on various real estate issues related to its plans to open a second center east of the Anacostia River in response to a growing demand for its services. The firm is assisting the organization with identifying and negotiating a contract for the new location and performing due diligence related to the planned expansion. In addition, the firm has advised Bright Beginnings on its corporate structuring and is representing the organization in negotiating a contract to increase Head Start and early Head Start programming.

“One of a parent’s biggest obstacles to finding employment is having access to quality child care, and studies have shown how critical early childhood education is for children’s academic success later in life,” said Ballard Spahr associate Andrew J. Rogers, who coordinates the firm’s pro bono work for Bright Beginnings. “Bright Beginnings has been successful in meeting the needs of homeless families on both fronts, and our firm is proud to be a partner with them and help them build on this success. We’re honored to receive this award.”

Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, Executive Director of Bright Beginnings, noted that the center’s waiting list has grown to 254 children, underscoring the need for a second location east of the Anacostia River, an area that is home to the city’s neediest families.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two decades, but like any nonprofit, we’re forced to stretch our limited resources just to ensure that we can fulfill our mission,” Dr. Gaines said. “That’s why we’re so grateful to Ballard Spahr for its commitment to serving the District’s most vulnerable families. The firm is highly deserving of this honor.”

Related Area

Pro Bono