Be a Hero

Dear Friend:

If you walk around the Moran Center and duck into the cubicles and offices, you’ll find dozens of kids’ drawings and pictures hanging up on corkboards. This is the first drawing I received from a child that I represented at the Moran Center, now nearly ten years ago. It still proudly adorns my office wall. The artist, Gabriel, was seven years old. Gabriel had explosive tantrums in class, resulting in the teacher calling his mother to come pick him up from school every day. Gabriel’s desperate mother urgently reached out to the Moran Center. I advocated for changing Gabriel’s educational placement to a therapeutic day school that specialized in autism. Once in an educational environment that understood his needs and supported him in reaching his own potential, Gabriel thrived. Gabriel’s mother dropped off this drawing of Gabriel’s favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, with the message that Gabriel had dubbed me “his Leonardo.” But for all the adversity that Gabriel had overcome, he was my superhero!

Your support makes helping kids like Gabriel possible.

Like Gabriel, the youth and families we represent, advise, and help heal are all experiencing urgent crises – a deprivation of liberty, a loss of employment, exclusion from school, a complex mental health issue, a profound harm in their neighborhood – and we always respond with urgency.

We need to be there urgently for parents struggling to find a foothold in this unstable economy by clearing criminal records that stand in their way of a fresh start.

We need to be there urgently for families confronting eviction by heading off homelessness through zealous legal advocacy.

We need to be there urgently for youth and young adults with complex mental health issues by fostering clients’ emotional health and resilience.

We need to be there urgently for community members reeling from harm by weaving together a tightly knit system of programs and policies based on the values of restorative justice.

The urgency is real! We anticipate an increase in demand for all our services and the Moran Center urgently needs your help – both to maintain and expand services. With your gift, we can hire additional attorneys to serve the avalanche of community members seeking to remediate their criminal records and stave off evictions following the lapse of the moratoria, as well as to employ additional mental health staff to continue effectively providing holistic, wraparound support.

With your help, we can continue to strengthen our community and facilitate transformative justice for youth and families who have been most impacted by long-standing inequities. Please give at the highest level you can. Together, we can continue our ongoing, unwavering work to ensure justice in the courtroom, access to the classroom, and restoration in the community.

Thank you for your consideration and please accept my best wishes for a safe, happy holiday season.


Patrick Keenan-Devlin
Executive Director

P.S. Please remember in order to receive a tax credit for your gift this year, your gift must be postmarked by December 31, 2021, or if given online ( it must be completed by 11:59 PM on December 31, 2021.

Your gift in any amount will make you a hero for kids like Gabriel, and for us.

Thank you.


$5,000 would provide 15 clients with weekly therapy for 1 year OR help 50 families apply for rental or mortgage payment assistance.

$2,500 would purchase 10 iPads for 10 students who do not have access to technology at home OR offset costs to train 10 high school students to become Restorative Justice Facilitators.

$1,000 would secure training for our Mental Health Team to be certified in two additional treatment modalities.

$500 would pay for a child’s Guardian Ad Litem (attorney) fees to determine the best interests of the child in a family law matter OR 50 clients to receive $10 Ventra Cards to get back and forth to job interviews or new jobs until they get paid.

$100 would cover the transcript costs for 4 individuals to appeal the wrongful denial of their Unemployment Benefits.

$50 would provide food for a week for a family when they cannot make ends meet OR help non-English speaking families receive interpretation services for clinic intakes, legal advice, and/or representation.