ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Charles Gallagher felt moved to do something.
He said it all started when he heard about a teacher in Arizona who died from the coronavirus after an outbreak in the school she was teaching at over the summer.
Then, the reaction from Florida teachers after the state ordered all schools to be open five days a week inspired him to help in some way.
"Seeing them say, maybe a bit tongue and cheek, but maybe not, one of the things they would need moving forward would be a living will going into this uncertain, risky scenario," said Gallagher who ultimately decided to offer that very service free of charge.
On Tuesday, Gallagher posted the following on his firm's Facebook page:
"G&A is happy to provide gratis living wills/advance directives for teachers involuntarily forced to return to the classroom. While we agree with medical experts that it is premature to reopen schools in this Tampa Bay hot zone, we want to do our part to help teachers that are forced to return. #COVID19 *Questions email: GallagherLaw@attorneyoffices.org"
By Thursday morning, Gallagher said he had received somewhere from 300-400 inquires from teachers interested in setting up their living wills, which is a legal document naming what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity.
"To hear a teacher say, gosh I need a living will to go back to school now, that struck a chord and I wanted to help if we could and if we could provide that assistance to teachers and give them a little more security," Gallagher explained.
Some of the comments on the Facebook post are from teachers out-of-state however Gallagher can only help Florida teachers.