Get Ready for #GivingTuesday!

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year November 29th is #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving to celebrate the impact of philanthropy through raising funds and raising awareness. Join us again this year across social media to celebrate 50 amazing years of LAF’s important work and kick off the end-of-year giving season with another rousing day of #GTatLAF.  We’ve set a goal to raise $50,000 to celebrate LAF’s 50th Anniversary, and we need your help!

To get ready, be sure to like LAF on Facebook, and follow @ChicagoLAF on Twitter and @LAFChicago on Instagram.  You can keep up with the national campaign by following along at #GivingTuesday, statewide at #ILGive, and LAF’s own campaign at #GTatLAF and #LAF50for50.  Keep an eye out for brand new stories and never-before-seen videos across LAF’s social media!

On Giving Tuesday, make a donation at www.lafchicago.org/Giving-Tuesday-at-LAF and we’ll send you an email with a sign to share and language you can copy onto facebook, twitter, Instagram, linkedin, and personal emails.  Then post your selfie or a video with your sign to share the impact LAF has had over the last half century and raise awareness about the importance of standing up for people who live in poverty.

We’ll be liking, sharing, thanking, and celebrating our work and our supporters all day, and we encourage you to get in on the fun!

 

Let’s Do Lunch: Part Three

The Final Installment of LAF’s 2016 Brownbag Roundtable Series Spotlights the Veterans’ Rights Project

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Last year, LAF provided free legal services to more than 1,200 veterans, service members, and their families. In addition to taking legal cases in a variety of areas, the Veterans’ Rights Project also remains involved in a medical-legal partnership through Rush University Medical Center’s Road Home Program, and runs a free legal clinic for veterans at the Community Resource and Referral Center. Veterans with attorney representation receive 2.4 times more compensation than those without representation, thanks in large part to attorneys’ ability to help their clients navigate an increasingly convoluted legal process. But with 1.5 million veterans living in poverty, access to legal representation is a significant barrier in itself. The latest edition of LAF’s 2016 Brownbag Roundtable Series featured some of LAF’s dedicated attorneys from the Veterans’ Rights Project: Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Veterans Legal Corps Fellow Ellen Rheaume, VISTA Attorney Catherine Shur, Supervisory Attorney Kathryn Socha and Equal Justice Works Fellow/Attorney Erin . They shared their experiences working with veterans and their families to ensure they receive advocacy, legal representation, and educational services regarding the rights and benefits they are due for their service to our country.

The most common issues LAF’s veteran clients face relate to military service-connected compensation, including monetary, healthcare, and education benefits. One of the stories they shared during the presentation was of a client who served during the Vietnam War. During his service, he developed schizophrenia and PTSD, the latter arising in part due to racism and harassment he experienced during service. Because his conditions weren’t diagnosed for a number of years after completion of his service, he faced incredible challenges obtaining VA compensation.  LAF stepped in to confront the VA, demanding compensation and treatment for his PTSD and schizophrenia.  The case is ongoing, but because of LAF’s intervention, the VA has already acknowledged the direct impact his time in the service had on his schizophrenia and provide treatment for it.

Thank you to all who joined us this Veterans Day to honor our veterans for their invaluable service, and thank the dedicated attorneys of the Veterans’ Rights Project for their commitment to serving those who serve.

October eNewsletter

Last week, we celebrated Pro Bono Week, honoring all of the volunteers who stretch LAF’s capacity to serve even more of the most vulnerable people in our community.
From our in-house AmeriCorps VISTAs and pro bono counsel, like Peter Monahan, whose story you can read in this month’s eNewsletter, to the Pro Bono Panel of attorneys and experts who take cases whenever we ask, to the teams from firms and corporations who staff our monthly clinics in the community, volunteers make our world go round.  The attorneys at DLA Piper and Discover Financial Services recently received a windfall of praise and media attention for their dedication to the Woodlawn Clinic.
As always, on behalf of the staff and volunteers, the Board and YPB, and all the clients and communities we serve here at LAF, thank you for your continued support of our work.  Read more about it in this month’s eNewsletter. When you invest your time or money in LAF, you are investing in making lasting change in the lives of people living in poverty across Chicagoland.  Thank you.