Giving Back

Happy Holidays to Our Friends & Supporters!

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably looking forward to the end of this unusual year! And yet with all the challenges 2020 has brought us, there have also been opportunities.

We’ve been given the chance to stop and consider what’s important in our lives and for our families.  We’ve found new ways to connect to each other and to deliver services.  And for those of us who can, these times have inspired us to support our communities and more vulnerable neighbours even more than we might have before.

The Calgary Legal Guidance community has been a shining example of these! Volunteer lawyers have readily embraced new ways of providing pro bono legal help.  The CLG Board and staff have crafted a new Strategic Plan designed to explore creative ways to advance access to Justice in a changed world.

Despite cancelled funding contracts, casinos, and dwindling donations, we have worked together to keep making a real difference for people who need us.  Since last January, nearly 2000 onsite and remote appointments have been attended, and 338 people fleeing violence have reached out for help.  The pandemic has created several challenges for those needing legal support, especially for older adults.  Over the past 11 months,  135 seniors have accessed our Elder Law Program and it means so much to us to help give them peace of mind. Here is what some of our clients had to say: 

“This will has made a great relief of leaving this life in peace.”
 
“It was a very stress free experience. I feel much better now that it is taken care of.”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a number of folks who’d used our Domestic Violence Family Law Program. There was so much gratitude in those conversations and one story really stands out for me:

A young person came to the DVFL looking for legal help with the Alberta Government’s Victims of Crime Benefits Program (VOC).  After years of abuse in foster care, and despite numerous notes on file with Children’s Services and calls to local police, they were denied access to the VOC benefits intended to make up for lost income and out of pocket expenses for therapy and healing. The Calgary Legal Guidance team worked tirelessly to successfully appeal this decision. An award of $30,000 has been granted to this client and now they have the resources they’ll need to truly turn their life around and heal from years of trauma and pain.

This is just ONE story of many.  And it will not be the last.  By providing the Domestic Violence Law Program to affected families, CLG can help make a small difference for those experiencing trauma. 

This is where your help is so important!

This Holiday Season, we invite you to give whatever amount you can to the CLG Programs, knowing that your donation goes to actually making a tangible difference in people’s lives.  Any donation you make goes directly to helping individuals address stressful legal concerns, and families to take back their power and escape unspeakable violence.  Learn more about how you can donate here, and help us to continue making a difference for many of our most vulnerable neighbours. 

All of us here at CLG wish you the very happiest of holidays, we hope for your continued health and that of your families, and we look forward to sharing a New Year with you!

Cheers!

Marina

Marina Giacomin, MA
Executive Director
giacominm@clg.ab.ca
(403)700-2676