Personal Lives

Chicago Lawyer Prowls Trash Dumpsters


By day, Todd Kooperman practices law with the Cook County public guardian’s office. But by night he can often be found prowling back alleys in affluent neighborhoods in and around Chicago, looking for treasure tossed in local trash dumpsters.

The 28-year-old Chicago attorney is seeking bicycles and other salvageable items that can be repaired and given to clients and their families. He and his dad, Alan, 63, are among the mainstay volunteers helping Our Community of Illinois, a non-profit charity organized by lawyers who represent wards of the state, find and fix much-needed items that foster children otherwise would not have, reports the Chicago Tribune.

“These kids have no resources. Their foster parents can’t afford to get them anything,” says Todd Kooperman. He began prowling prime trash depositories after he started asking some young clients what they would ask for, if they had three wishes. “Quite often they say, ‘a bike,’” says Kooperman, whose father, a retired high school auto mechanics teacher, once found an $800 mountain bike that had been thrown away. “Soon after, I started picking up bikes.”

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