About Marilyn Gardner Milton
Marilyn Gardner Milton MA is a woman who has her fingers in many different pies in life. One of her greatest passions is the volunteering and advocating for both children in need as well as dogs. She helped to create the Ebenezer Foundation which works with children in need in Zambia. With the motto “A Place to Call Home and Someone to Call Mother”, the Ebenezer Foundation is dedicated to providing education, healthcare, and housing for orphans in Zambia. This position allows Marilyn to bring her years of experience in primary education and distance learning to the organization, providing them with advice and support as to how best educate the children.
Marilyn Garner Milton | Volunteering & Administrative Experience
The Ebenezer Foundation was created to support the work of the Ebenezer Child Care Trust, an organization that originally focused on feeding the orphans in Zambian cities a few times a week. However, as time passed the creators realized that there was more they could do to help the children in need. They partnered with the Cavalry Church in Livingstone and began renting houses so that they could offer a stable environment and family-like situation for the orphans. The Foundation currently rents 4 houses and 1 office building where they provide housing and house parents for the orphans as well as education and medical facilities for both orphans and all children in the community. Marilyn Gardner Milton MA was hired to join the Board of Directors so that she could bring her expertise in education and distance learning to the organization.
While Marilyn Gardner Milton MA has focused most of her volunteering efforts on children in need, she has also always been an advocate for dogs. Throughout her entire life, Marilyn has lived with dogs. As a child she was raised in a household that always had at least one dog in it and she tried to maintain that number throughout all periods in her life. And throughout all of her experiences with educating and administrating, her dogs were always there with her. The more she worked in high-intensity situations, the more Marilyn realized that her dog was useful for both companionship as well as a natural stress reliever. While Marilyn’s life is taken up mostly by her work and her family, she has never forgotten about her love for dogs and continues to live with one to this very day. Due to her experiences, she is fully aware of the therapeutic effects that dogs can have on people in stressful and taxing situations.
Who knows what exactly it is, but we can all agree that there is a particular type of magic in the air during the holidays. People gain patience, offer compassion, and smiles can be seen in all directions. So naturally, the holidays are a time when people want to give back to their community and to those who are less fortunate.
The feeling of giving back is so widespread that many states have created different coalitions, programs, and opportunities for attorneys to give back through pro-bono work. For example, just last December, over 50 lawyers came together to learn about becoming pro bono volunteers in Baltimore at the American Bar Association’s Homeless Youth Legal Network Pro Bono. Equipping attorneys of different types of law with cultural competency training on youth issues, such as trauma, homelessness, and more, the Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI) provides ongoing support to lawyer-client relationships in efforts of creating sustainable change.
In Chicago, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) coordinates several volunteer programs for lawyers to give back to the community and gain pro bono experience. Current programs include the Dear Santa Letter Campaign, Law Week, Wills for Heroes, Serving Our Seniors, and more.
The DC Pro Bono Center has a volunteer interest form where attorneys can sign up to receive monthly emails announcing pro bono training and opportunities in D.C. The website also offers pro bono programs for individuals, firms, non-bar members, and more.
The Massachusetts Bar Association boasts the importance of volunteering to Massachusetts attorneys. On the MassBar website, there are currently 15 programs listed for attorneys to give back and increase connections within the attorney volunteer community. MassProBono.org is another website designed to help lawyers efficiently find pro bono work that fits their schedule.
The avenues for giving back are endless. Outside of enrolling in state and company programs, here are a few more ways to get involved and share the holiday spirit:
- Sponsor a cause. This could mean donating money or time to a foundation or charity or recruiting the whole firm to do some meaningful work for a worthwhile cause.
- Get On Board. A great way to give back to the community is by volunteering to serve as the legal professional for a non-profit organization. It is a fundamental role that every nonprofit need.
- Immigrants. Nothing reminds you of the importance of family like the holidays. Use those fuzzy-good feelings to help get a detained immigrant home to their family. The American Immigrant Lawyers Association is seeking volunteers to represent undocumented citizens in immigration court.
To become a well-rounded lawyer after graduation, students in law school need to study more than just the material found in the classroom. They also need diverse, real-life experience found in the form of volunteer work.
Pro Bono Work
A priceless fountain of experience comes from doing pro bono work, which is why law students are advised to seek out all possible pro bono openings with law firms, bar associations, law schools or government offices. Pro bono opportunities allow students to experience what it’s like to work with people unable to afford legal representation. This not only provides a human perspective, it lets students give back to the community as well. Some schools might even offer school credit.
Law Review is a scholarly journal that focuses on legal issues. The articles are written exclusively by law students and it gets published by the law school itself. There is generally one main journal for each law school, as well as several smaller specialty journals. The time required for writing, researching and editing Law Review can be very demanding, but also worthwhile because some employers will specifically check whether a student has Law Review on their resume during the interview process.
National Leadership Roles
Being a speaker at the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) is another great volunteer opportunity. It builds connections and provides public speaking experience, as well as strengthens leadership skills. It also looks great on a resume.
Bar Association Committees
Any actively enrolled law student can select up to five free Bar Association (ABA) specialty groups. Choosing a group, however, is only the first step. Once chosen, there are hundreds of group-related committees to choose from and this is where you’ll meet other law professionals who share your interests. Committees are similar to independent bar associations and have their own officers and dues. They use publications, periodicals and journals to provide continuing education for members and the general public.
Internships and Clinics
Both paid and unpaid internships can help law students gain experience and make industry connections, as well as add valuable lines to their resume. The state bar association has a law student division that offers networking contacts, information on specific areas of law, mentoring possibilities and discounted or free continuing education (CLE). All of these resources are extremely helpful when students need to find post-graduate work.
Clinics are law school programs that give students credit for working in real-world situations. Students do all the same jobs as a lawyer, such as doing research, drafting briefs and interviewing clients. Each law school has different clinics and each one offers priceless hands-on experience and insight into what specific field of law a student might want to enter after graduation.
The Ebenezer Foundation is a United States-based 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization which provides support to the Ebenezer Child Care Trust in Zambia, Africa. This organization serves impoverished and orphaned children living in Livingstone through the assistance of donor contributions. Its mission not only carries out the work of saving, raising, and educating children, but also works to provide the children the opportunity to live a better and more productive life. The foundation serves the community by supporting and operating an orphanage, primary school, and farm.
Volunteers all over the world comprise the Ebenezer Foundation; they provide funding and also volunteer their time. While some volunteers are already based in Africa, many travel to Zambia to provide service and to cultivate relationships with the volunteers and children in Livingstone.
Texas A&M University student, Ashley Hrenak, recently joined the organization’s cause and traveled to Zambia to volunteer with the Ebenezer Child Care Trust.
When describing her visit Ashley shared the impact of her experience: “This past July, I traveled over 24 hours to a small school called Ebenezer. I didn’t have the slightest clue what to expect upon arrival, though there would have been no way to prepare my heart for all of the love, joy, singing, dancing, beauty, and smiles that would greet me with open arms. Ebenezer has completely changed my life. I came to Livingstone, Zambia knowing no one and somehow left with over 400 beautiful, compassionate, smart, humble, God loving friends.”
“These kids have given me far more than I could have ever given them. They have touched my heart and taught me more than 14 years of school could have ever taught me. God has blessed me in the most beautiful way possible and I thank Him, with all my heart, for showing me this oasis of love. I am in love with Ebenezer and cannot wait to return.” She concludes fondly, “Zikomo Ebenezer.”
Foundation volunteers support all of the U.S-based Ebenezer Foundation’s administrative costs. As a result, the organization takes pride in its ability to pledge all of its donations to the Ebenezer Child Care Trust.