Embracing VLAS’ profound accomplishment

Published 2:53 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

The news of the Virginia Legal Aid Society completing the payoff of its mortgage for its Farmville office should be embraced by the community.

The news means much more than just retiring a note for a building. The payoff of the VLAS’ mortgage means the much-needed agency can better serve our neighbors, friends and family.

Email newsletter signup

“VLAS raised $203,000, including a $100,000 matching grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation during the tremendously successful 2015 Farmville Capital Campaign,” a VLAS release stated. “Bill Shear and Noelle Prince Shear, of Farmville, jointly chaired the campaign with the help of VLAS Director of Development, Rhonda J. Knight, and the dedicated investment of a volunteer committee.”

Our community owes a great deal of thanks to the Shears and to Knight for their hard work. We also owe a great deal of gratitude to those who contributed to the campaign, which will aid our entire community.

The purchase in full of VLAS’ Farmville service office reflects institutional commitment to Farmville and nine surrounding counties and to meeting the tremendous ongoing need for civil legal aid.

“Every year, thousands of people turn to VLAS for help in civil cases that affect income, housing, healthcare, education and access to justice for themselves and their families,” a press release noted.

The non-profit law firm provides legal information, advice and representation in civil cases to underprivileged individuals and families.

According to the agency, since 1977, VLAS has been the only institutional provider of such services in much of Virginia. VLAS attorneys and paralegals use legal skills to solve problems in housing, access to health care, income and public benefits, family issues, consumer lending and assets.

The agency’s mission is to resolve serious legal problems of vulnerable people, promote economic and family stability, reduce poverty through effective legal assistance and to champion equal justice.

The payoff of the new Farmville location will indeed fulfill this mission.


Jordan Miles is managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com.