September 2020 Volunteer of the Month – Christina Alfonsi

Christina Alfonsi is a bankruptcy attorney who volunteers in the Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Christina started volunteering with us in 2000, and has taken 62 cases, all bankruptcy related. She is also one of the first Bankruptcy Volunteers to learn more about the BBP program to assist potential Clients with more options and ultimately referring them to MVLS for services.

Read on to learn why Christina volunteers:

  • Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?

Starting out as an associate, my first law firm gave me timeshare foreclosures in Ocean City, MD. Of which there were many horror stories from the purchasers about pressures to sign. When I switched law firms, Lawyer Referral Services recruited me for timeshares. When I started my own firm, I began working with MVLS because I wanted to give back to the community that so desperately needed it. This is a way of giving quality legal assistance and advice to those who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

  • Do you have any stand out stories?

There are so many that stand out when I think about using my education and abilities to help someone who has been overlooked time and time again. Miss Mary is a prime example. She lived on a fixed income and struggled with an alcoholic son who took her money and made her life miserable. With the help of “friends in high places” we managed to extricate the son, file a bankruptcy and put her in touch with the agencies that could assist her with her ongoing medical and financial needs. We still hear from her and provide food and necessities for her and her dogs. One of many that touch my heart and make my spirit soar.

  • What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?

Knowledge is power. Once provided the knowledge and assistance, the stress that we are able to remove once the client understands that we are here to provide a service in their best interest by filing a bankruptcy, putting them in touch with appropriate agencies and working to boost their self-esteem that the system is not out to get them and they now have a better outlook on their future.

  • Why should other attorneys do pro bono?

A monetary fee will only pay a bill or get you more stuff. Of course, we all need to make a living. The satisfaction that is felt when the child of a client comes in with his college degree which was made possible because you helped his mom is priceless. When a client is truly in need and is so appreciative, that sense of fulfillment is one of the reasons why I became an attorney and I think everyone could benefit from that.