June 19, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – TAPinto.net met with Livingston resident Mitchell Rait, an attorney, to discuss his recent receipt of the Bernard J. Kuttner Pro Bono Service Award for his legal work on behalf of the Covenant House New Jersey.
The Covenant House is a nonprofit charity serving homeless youth with a network of shelters across the Americas. Rait got involved in the Covenant House about 10 years ago.
A board member of the organization brought Rait to an annual gala that began his involvement in the Covenant House.
“Every year they do a gala that highlights the kids that they help, I was just so moved by it that when he asked me to actually join the board of trustees I immediately said yes,” said Rait.
In their nominating letter, a representative of Covenant House wrote, “Beyond the exemplary representation and ongoing advice he has provided me personally, as well as our other leadership, there is the money that we have not had to take away from our core Mission of serving homeless youth that his expertise and willingness to help has saved Covenant House NJ. If asked to venture a guess at the value of the services provided, I would say it is a lot of money. With that kind of money, we can feed every youth in two shelters for about four years—that’s three meals daily for approximately 100 youth! But truly, Mitch’s support has been priceless.”
“The type of work I do for a lot of clients is employment law related, and it is done in different companies and non-profit organizations,” said Rait. “You always learn more things about your client than anything else. That helps in becoming a well-rounded attorney. I put a lot of hours in—my focus is on the time as opposed to the actual dollar amount.”
When asked how others could give to this organization, Rait said, “We always do fundraisers— money is what drives everything forward. We have something called an executive camp-out, where professionals actually sleep out overnight, in the middle of the winter, in the parking lot at one of our facilities and you get sponsors to sponsor you and help raise money that way. And, we have the annual gala, which is a big fundraiser.”
To find out about other ways of giving to the Covenant House of NJ, click HERE.