Kristen Sonday ’09 co-founded Paladin in 2015 to help connect corporate legal teams with pro bono opportunities. Even during the best of times there are people in need of legal assistance who might not have the resources to navigate the justice system. But the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt millions of Americans and created a national legal emergency.

Partnering with the American Bar Association, LegalZoom, and Clio, Paladin launched the first ever nationwide disaster portal, an online pro bono opportunity guide for lawyers looking to help the people hit hardest by the crisis.

“Vulnerable individuals are experiencing a range of legal issues at unprecedented levels,” Sonday told “Common cases include individuals filing for unemployment benefits; navigating housing issues and unlawful evictions; victims of domestic violence who have sheltered-in-place with an abuser; nonprofits and small businesses navigating canceled contracts; and delays in court proceedings affecting thousands of Americans.”

Attorneys can visit Paladin’s website to sign up and be paired with pro bono opportunities that align with their interests and experience. There are currently more than 100 COVID-19 disaster cases in need of legal assistance.

To learn more or volunteer, visit Paladin.

Particle physicists design simplified ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Apr 09, 2020 Health Care , News , Research , Technology

An international team of particle physicists led by Princeton’s Cristian Galbiati paused their search for dark matter to focus on the growing demand for ventilators, needed for patients with serious cases of COVID-19. While it may sound odd for a dark matter researcher to have taken up medical manufacturing, it makes more sense when put another way: an expert in constructing sensitive instruments for compressed argon decided to experiment with compressed oxygen and nitrogen. The first 1,000 units will be constructed within the week.

Photo of Jamieson and Poor

NSF RAPID grant to track and contain pandemic

Apr 13, 2020 Featured , News , Research , Technology

The National Science Foundation has awarded emergency grants to two teams of Princeton researchers developing ways to better track and contain pandemics including COVID-19. The grants were awarded through the NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program, which provides support for scientific efforts to respond to emergencies and unexpected events.

Meals for Heroes Feeds NYC’s Healthcare Workers

Apr 14, 2020 Community , Service

Five days into the COVID-19 quarantine in New York City, Anna Azvolinsky *09 was decluttering a closet in her family’s apartment when she uncovered a small supply of forgotten N95 masks that were given to her years ago during a flu outbreak. Knowing that the masks were critical for those on the frontline, she asked friends for advice and learned that Mt. Sinai hospital had the greatest need.

She took the masks to the Mt. Sinai Emergency Room, where she asked the staff, “What else can we do?” What she heard surprised her. After PPE, the greatest need, “is that hospital staff don’t have time to think about meals,” says Azvolinsky, a science journalist who graduated from Princeton with a doctoral degree in molecular biology.

She didn’t waste any time. That same day, she and her husband, Joel Weingarten, and their business partner, Ryall Carrol, created Meals4Heroes, a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit offshoot of Weingarten’s and Carrol’s nonprofit, Doing4Others.

Meals4Heroes solicits donations and connects restaurants with healthcare workers, buying and delivering meals to feed large groups, such as an entire ER or ICU shift at a hospital. The healthy meals are all purchased from local restaurants near the hospitals. Currently, the organization works with 16 local restaurants that create custom meals for 40 to 200 people at a time.

The program is gathering momentum and helping feed more heroes on the front lines each week. In their first week in late March, Meals4Heroes sent 790 meals to four hospitals. In its second week the organization sent 2,865 meals to five hospital. From April 13 to 17, 5,600 meals will have been sent to 10 hospitals.

“Since we started, every day has been busy and fulfilling, connecting with local restaurants, healthcare workers and our donors, addressing this acute need,” says Azvolinksy.

Learn more by visiting Meals4Heroes.