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VLAS Capital Campaign For Farmville Office

Editor, The Herald:

Our modern court and legal system is complex and difficult to navigate without the help of an attorney.  But what if you have serious legal problems and can¹t afford to hire one?  The answer may be the Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS). VLAS is a nonprofit corporation that provides much-needed legal advice and services to those who are unable to afford to hire their own attorneys.  VLAS works to make sure that access to justice in our modern, complex system of law is available to all, regardless of income. Typically VLAS lawyers and paralegals give advice and/or represent clients in family court, housing disputes and income protection.  VLAS does not represent persons charged with a crime, nor does it handle bankruptcy cases. The Society is primarily concerned with strengthening families, improving
housing, and helping clients with income.  The majority of people helped are senior citizens and children.

VLAS serves 20 rural counties and nearly 145,000 people at 125% of the federal poverty level or below.  Of the four offices, one of the busiest is here in Farmville, which serves 9 counties, the largest area of any of the VLAS offices.  Attorneys and paralegals are available for consultation or courtroom representation, free of charge to clients.

By helping to keep families intact and in their homes, helping them with their medical and other benefits, VLAS contributes to the economic and social stability of our region.

For many years, the Farmville office has operated out of cramped, rented quarters.  Now, with the help of a $100,000 grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, VLAS has purchased a centrally located building that will greatly expand their ability to serve clients.

There’s just one catch.  The grant is a matching  rant.  On April 8th, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new offices, we announced the formation of a committee of civic leaders to conduct a capital campaign to make the match.  We were excited then to be able to announce that we were more than half way to our goal of $100,000.  Won¹t you help us achieve that goal?

Our committee is determined to raise the remainder of the money by September.  Although we must have pledges in hand by the end of 2015, the terms of the Parsons grant allow us to redeem them over a three-year period, until 2017.  That means that a $300  pledge, for instance, can be fulfilled by paying $100 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The service VLAS provides is crucial to our community  because it helps to stabilize families and serves dependent children and senior citizens.  A member of the committee may be contacting you soon.  Please consider including the VLAS Farmville Office Capital Campaign in your giving plan.
If you would like more information on VLAS and the campaign, please feel free to contact me at wshear@hsc.edu.

Bill Shear

Farmville