As immigration attorneys, our team at Godoy Law Office works hard to help our neighbors better integrate into the Lombard community. Through our work, we see how difficult it can be for our new neighbors to feel like they belong, so we wanted to do something to encourage others to help immigrants feel welcome in their community.. To do this, we started the Helpful Neighbor Nomination to award one person $300 that has taken the initiative to help their fellow neighbors in the Lombard community.

This year, we are honored to recognize Michael Melarkey for his work in raising money for Color of Change, an online racial justice organization that helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. To learn more about Michael and about this important cause, read his reaction statement below.

2020 Helpful Neighbor Nomination Winner: Michael Melarkey

Reaction Statement:

Wow. I am absolutely blown away. I am not only shocked I was nominated, but also shocked by winning the Helpful Neighbor Nomination! I know there are plenty of people in the community doing great things and it’s an honor to be in that same grouping. It takes an entire community to make a change and I’m glad I am a part of it!

As we all know, there is a pandemic going on along with social injustice. Times have been hard for everyone, especially people of color. I was tired of sitting in the back seat and not standing up for something I believe in; equality. I went to Madison Meadows Park in Lombard and set up a lemonade stand and raised $1,200 for Color of Change! I could not have done it without the help of all my friends, for showing up and staying with me until it started to get dark out. There were people who were not able to make it to the lemonade stand, so with the help of technology, people from all across the United States were donating for this cause. From Hawaii to West Virginia, people were wanting to help raise money for COC. I am so proud of the outcome. I am so proud of everyone in the community who came out and wanted to fight social injustice.

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