It's been said that it's impossible for one person to change the
world, but even if that's true, one can help.
In 2005, while sitting at a Dunkin Donuts with a "very pregnant"
teenage client, attorney Anne Bader-Martin found herself discussing
the pregnancy. Her client knew she wanted to keep the child and
what she wanted most was a stroller, but she knew she couldn't
afford one. After a few minutes of conversation, another patron at
the donut shop handed attorney Bader-Martin and her client a blank
check for $175.
This event, coupled with what she saw every day in court led
Bader-Martin and a group of attorneys to form the nonprofit
organization One Can Help.
Their mission statement is simple: "… to encourage low-income,
high-risk children and parents involved in the juvenile court
system to get the help they need to make positive changes when no
other funds are available from state agencies." And that's exactly
what they do.
"Our system allows us to use programs and individuals already in
existence so we have very little overhead," said Bader-Martin. "Our
goal is to make sure that people who would be able to succeed but
face a financial constraint aren't held back by that."
Currently serving exclusively Middlesex County, One Can Help has
helped families involved with the Department of Children and
Families (DCF) and the courts with everything from bus passes to
domestic violence counseling. Bader-Martin stressed: "What we're
able to do is individualize the grants we give. We don't give
everybody gloves or everybody this and that, when someone applies
they say what they need, it's vetted, and that specific need is
The use of existing court personnel, attorneys and social workers
allows for 100 percent of donated funds to go directly to the
services rendered by the organization, and they're looking to
Bader-Martin said she's constantly getting inquiries and requests
from other counties but as of yet doesn't have the resources to
step in. They're also looking to form a legal advisory committee,
something MBA members may be interested in.
For more information about One Can Help, visit www.onecanhelp.org
or call attorney Bader-Martin at (617) 930-3468.