A sign posted in a metro Atlanta park in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

The Robbins Firm is asking lawyers to take a quick break from their own work and child care concerns during a stressful time and help hard-hit restaurant workers and others who’ve lost jobs.

The litigation and government law boutique on Monday launched an online fundraiser, Georgia Lawyers Care, to make it easy to donate to Giving Kitchen, which helps Georgia restaurant workers, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

“There are lots of people hurting out there,” said the firm’s founder, Richard Robbins. “Lawyers need to step up and show we care.”

The firm chose Giving Kitchen because thousands of Georgians in the food-service industry are out of work and “in dire straits,” Robbins said, “and the Atlanta Food Bank is terrific help for everyone.”

A webpage with the Georgia Lawyers Care moniker funnels online contributions directly to each charity—at this link for Giving Kitchen and this link for Atlanta Community Food Bank. Donations are tax-deductible, since both are nonprofits.

“I wanted to make it fast and easy. Click on the page we set up, contribute, and you’re done,” Robbins said. He added that he and his colleagues at the 35-employee firm spent some time last week crowdsourcing via email the best charities for the fundraiser and that these two were the ones that people kept mentioning.

Robbins has set an initial $10,000 goal, respectively, for donations to Giving Kitchen and the food bank. By late Monday afternoon, just a few hours after he sent an email blast to dozens of local lawyers announcing the initiative, the Georgia Lawyers Care webpage for each charity was about halfway to the $10,000 goals.

Those tallies did not yet include contributions from the Robbins Firm’s 35 lawyers and staff. ”We’re putting in $10,000 ourselves—at least $5,000 each to Giving Kitchen and the Food Bank—and I’d love to raise multiples of that,” Robbins said. “If you give $5 or $10, you can feed someone’s family for a day.”

Robbins hopes the Georgia Lawyers Cares fundraiser for Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Community Food Bank will get other firms thinking of additional ways to contribute.

Richard Robbins. (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

“Yes, law firms are working hard to cope with this crisis and, yes, all law firms have an obligation to their attorneys and their staff to maintain business operations in very difficult times,” Robbins said. “But let’s face it, attorneys as a whole are in way better shape than the thousands of people in Georgia who are out of work and, scarily, have no reasonable prospect of getting work in the near future.

“It’s easy to get paralyzed by your own anxieties and concerns, so it’s nice, after two weeks of grimness, to focus on someone else,” he added. “It sure changed the mood around here to be able to focus on helping others rather than on where we might find toilet paper.”