The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is an organization that has provided free civil legal aid to Hoosiers since 1941. But as highlighted in a recent feature by The Indiana Lawyer, this essential nonprofit was in deep peril due to the coronavirus pandemic. After the organization had to cancel two major fundraisers due to COVID, Lee Christie, one of our founding partners, was the chairperson of the last line of defense—the holiday fundraiser.
When Lee took over chairing the committee for the holiday campaign in February 2020, they planned for an in-person kickoff party and face-to-face donation requests. But by the spring, it was clear that a virtual format was the only option. “With the pandemic, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, are we going to be able to raise any money?’” Lee told The Indiana Lawyer.
But by enlisting the help of committed volunteers and finding innovative ways to bring the personal touch virtually, the campaign was able to exceed the previous years’ fundraising by over $50,000!
“It’s really a breath of fresh air for everyone on the board and the staff because it’s just money that we can use to help whoever walks in the door,” John Floreancig, ILAS general counsel and CEO, told The Indiana Lawyer.
“More people are struggling and seeking legal help because of the pandemic-induced economic downturn,” wrote Marilyn Odendahl. “With the donations, ILAS will be able to continue providing assistance to low-income clients on a variety of matters and, Floreancig said, fill an open lawyer position on the staff.”
The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society continues to help any individual in need who walks through the door, meaning its funding needs will also continue. Lee and his fellow committee members are committed to breaking their record during the holiday season of 2021. If you are interested in getting involved with Lee and the committee, reach out to him.
We are so proud of this work to ensure every Hoosier in need of civil representation gets access to the advocates that can help them get life back on track.