We're thankful for our community

This week, we’re taking a break from our Big Ideas series to offer our thanks.

As our name suggests, community is central to our mission. Our work is interdependent on what’s happening in our communities -- from driving our advocacy priorities based on what our clients need, to partnerships that further and deepen the impact we can have.

This week, but really all year long, we are grateful to those in our community who have gone above and beyond their “normal” call to duty over the past two years. Across central northeast Ohio, we at Community Legal Aid have seen a pattern of selfless service repeated time and again:

Our local governments and courts, who pulled together and worked nonstop to ensure that essential services and access to the justice system never ceased.

Our community agencies, who devised incredible ways to do more for citizens when citizens needed more, including setting up new rapid response systems for administering both public health needs and emergency financial assistance.

Volunteer Income Tax Advocate (VITA) workers, who helped (and continue to help) low-income taxpayers navigate the ever-increasing complexities of the tax world in the era of stimulus checks and new and changing tax code and credits.

Domestic violence shelters, who somehow juggled increased demands for services, increased lethality threats for victims, and a health crisis that put their (and their families’) own health and safety at risk.

Local advocacy groups, who have rallied the cry for social and racial justice and empowered residents in fighting for their rights.

Our volunteer attorneys, who didn’t miss a beat in piloting new, virtual ways to give their time and talents to meet the needs of a growing pool of people in need of legal help.

Our donors and funders, who pivoted quickly to meet the most pressing and changing needs of low-income residents and the working poor, and who have continued to answer the call to bolster our communities as the pandemic has evolved.

All around us are ordinary people and organizations who, in this time of tumult, have done extraordinary things. From all of us at Community Legal Aid, we see you. We celebrate you. We thank you.

This article is part of Legal Aid’s “Big Ideas” series.

Posted: November 24, 2021