Local Bar recognized
Published 1:06 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The Covington County Bar Association was among three county associations recognized this past week by the Alabama Bar Association at its Bench and Bar luncheon.
Local bar association President Bill Alverson said the award recognizes the local group for its work with foster families, a project that began in 2013.
“On Christmas Eve, Judge Trippy McQuire called me and asked if I could serve in an emergency dependency hearing. At the hearing, sadly, minor children were being removed to foster care as both of their parents were arrested on drug violations,” Alverson said.
“I noticed that the workers at DHR were frantically calling and trying to get something done — I inquired and realized that they were trying to locate jackets for the children – who did not have any and a cold front had moved in,” he said. “That sat with me. Here we are at Christmas considering gifts and what we want — talk about the true meaning of Christmas – and I saw DHR employees going beyond their job duties to take care of these children.”
The following spring, Alverson was elected president of the Bar Association.
“As I went into my next year of service of president I was pondering what we could do as a Bar,” Alverson said.
After meeting with executive board members Corey Bryan and Stephanie Cotton, the three decided to set up a foster care closet with clothes from attorneys.
Alverson said they agreed to start in their own closets.
“Let us go home, seriously go through our closets and assure that no person – adult or child – is without proper clothing,” he said. “We spoke to DHR and talked to them about our plan– then they suggested that we coordinate with the Foster Parents Association.
At our meeting last June, we presented the proposal to the Bar which endorsed it completely, and informed them of our progress.”
Cotton actually went a step further and found a location, he said.
“That was our biggest obstacle — where do we collect and where do we have these clothes,” Alverson said. “It was very key to me and to the board that the children and adults served never feel that they were receiving charity at any type.”
Central Church of Christ – now Central Church – agreed to be house the closet.
“Stephanie and I went and met with the church, who went above and beyond,” Alverson said. “They agreed to take the clothes in and inventory them.”
The church actually worked with the bar to design an effective display, which they built.