As we all process the ongoing events related to the Covid-19 pandemic, one source of comfort is knowing that helpers, like first responders, healthcare workers, and so many others, are doing the impactful work they’ve always done – saving lives.
Lately, their work seems particularly meaningful and dangerous, but they have been heroes since long before this pandemic.
Another one of the helpers out there is Yazmeen Gadalla. Gadalla, a corporate paralegal at Smith Anderson, has volunteered to help first responders at multiple Wills for Heroes events, and the NCBA Pro Bono Committee is very grateful for her work.
Wills for Heroes is a North Carolina Bar Foundation program that provides essential legal documents like wills, living wills, and powers of attorney to North Carolina first responders free of charge. Gadalla is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal and a Notary Public and helps notarize documents – many of which require not only a Notary, but multiple witnesses – to ensure the first responders receive valid estate planning documents. NCBA Pro Bono Committee member Rachel Royal says that Gadalla has even gone out of her way to volunteer at Wills for Heroes events that are out of town and required her to travel.
Gadalla says that giving back to her community is rewarding for her and that volunteering with Wills for Heroes “allows me to utilize my services in a way that is ethical and helpful.” She added that the first responders and their families’ expressions of appreciation have stayed with her.
“I would always be the last person they spoke with after the process, and countless times I heard them express their gratitude towards everyone who took their time to ensure their needs were met to provide peace of mind for their families.”
Gadalla also expressed thanks to other Wills for Heroes volunteers, including attorneys who draft the estate planning documents, event organizers, and witness volunteers.