What a year 2009 was! To say it was challenging does very little justice to the hardships people living in poverty have had to face, let alone all the nonprofits that have struggled to make a difference.
At Legal Aid, despite the challenges of a hiring freeze and a budget trimmed to the absolute bare minimum, we do have many things to be grateful for. We are grateful for the support of so many law firms, attorneys, corporations, foundations and others who recognized that, despite hardships of their own, it was important to keep contributing to Legal Aid. Our Leadership Cabinet is a testament to the commitment of our community.
We have the privilege of working with a terrifically engaged and motivated Board of Trustees who recognize that they are integral to the success of Legal Aid, not only in the areas of governance, but also when it comes to securing contributions from their firms, companies, and peers.
We have a staff of committed professionals who work tirelessly to achieve the ideal of Making Justice Real. Doing more with less is a theme that I have seen quite a bit. It has certainly become the reality at Legal Aid. My colleagues are an impressive group who could easily have chosen a different path given their exceptional credentials. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.
Frankly, the goal of nonprofits such as Legal Aid would be to strive for the day when our work would not be necessary. A lofty goal, indeed. I only mention this as I would finally like to say that we are grateful for the clients of Legal Aid, which might seem odd. Despite coming to our offices due to circumstances that are incredibly difficult and at times quite horrific, they continue to show amazing grace and courage. Many are willing to share their stories publically - at our annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner , through our videos, our Annual Report. They know that providing a real face for our clients can help Legal Aid gather support to keep us moving forward fighting injustice.
I know that I speak for everyone at Legal Aid when I say that I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!