Habitat for Humanity’s local merger is bringing together local communities and consolidating resources to create a greater impact on Central Jersey. McCarter & English attorney, Veronica Montagna, was paired with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County by Pro Bono Partnership to provide legal counsel on matters such as Greater Plainfield’s recent merger with Middlesex County Habitat.
“It was a smart business decision to combine the Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County chapters, and combining companies-or in this case, the local chapters of a world-class not-for-profit is something we routinely do at McCarter & English,” Montagna said.
In total she has donated 66 hours of her time, a value of $24,000, to prepare the merger agreements and to manage the legal filings. The complex and detailed legal process of merging affiliates would not have been possible without the generous contribution from McCarter & English and the diligence of Montagna.
The merger, which was finalized last May, included a new name, logo and a much larger service area for the joint affiliate–meaning families who live in Middlesex County who apply for new Habitat homes will now be served with opportunities generated by the efforts of Great Plainfield Habitat and vice versa.
“Habitat does such exceptional, badly-needed work on behalf of so many families who otherwise might lack adequate housing and combining operations as they did will enable them to meet the housing needs of even more people in the region,” Montagna stated.
Pro Bono Partnership, which is what brought this partnership together, provides business and transactional legal services to non-profit organizations serving the disadvantaged or enhanced the quality of life in neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Annually, the company recruits and mobilizes hundreds of attorneys from law firms and major corporations to donate their time and expertise to enhance their ability to improve conditions in their communities.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County has begun its first project in Highland Park, set to serve a family that was impacted by Superstorm Sandy back in 2012. The new Habitat home, located at 236 South 10th Ave. in Highland Park, is underway.
“When people think of volunteering with Habitat, construction is assumed to be the only opportunity,” said Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County. “Partnerships with professional firms like McCarter & English enable us to have more impact in the community. Donations of professional services allow us to focus on building more homes and in turn to serve more families.”