We’ve been celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week on Facebook by sharing old stories from the blog about some of our best and hardest-working volunteers. This month, we shared a new story about a volunteer attorney named Tim Fox, who is always committed to going “Above and Beyond” for our clients. We then met a recent employee of the Clinic, Jim Floyd, who started out as a volunteer for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
Deeply entrenched in the community, their mission is about seeing a need and playing an active role in meeting that need. “We have always said that we want to be the kind of church that if we disappeared tomorrow that our communities would feel the loss,” says Wayland. “We believe that to get to this place, you have to roll up your sleeves and start to serve your neighbors.”
Just over a year ago, Jim Floyd and his wife were about to go to dinner when he decided to take some medicine for what he thought was a migraine. But when his wife asked him a question a few minutes later, the words that came out of Jim’s mouth were nonsensical. As someone who used to teach courses on emergency care for strokes, Jim knew exactly what was happening to him. He was experiencing a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, and he was suffering from expressive aphasia, his speech rendered largely incoherent.
Tim Fox is the polar opposite of the lawyer found in stereotypical jokes. Far from being greedy or stingy with his time and knowledge, as a volunteer for Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, he regularly stretches the bounds of what it means to give freely of oneself. When unavoidable hiccups in the system threaten to shut down an intake on a particular day or when time is critical for a certain client, Tim simply improvises.
March Madness Brackets-for-Good style was full tilt this year! #TeamJustice made it to the Supported Sixteen for the first time thanks to your generous support! During the Clinic’s 3-week run, we raised more than ever to provide free legal services to our low-income neighbors: $35,004! If you missed a chance to support us during this competitive-giving tournament, you can still donate to the Clinic here. And don’t forget to check out our Brackets-for-Good playlist to watch the videos we released each week!
Nearly a year and a half earlier, Tyler and his father drove from their home in Missouri to Indianapolis. His father was going to drop Tyler off for a week-long visit with his Aunt Sara. But at the end of the week, Tyler’s father did not return. “Dad left and never came back,” says Kelsey. For a time, Tyler’s father still made some effort at contact. “He would send [Tyler] cards every once in awhile, so he didn’t totally disappear, but he wouldn’t come back for him,” Kelsey says. “He always said he didn’t have money to come back and get him.”
Janet found the face-to-face meetings with clients during intake to be especially transformative, their needs frequently going beyond the scope of what legal assistance could provide. Although she was able to offer them her legal expertise, their stories were often filled with dark and difficult chapters. “In some cases, we met the face of profound despair,” Janet says. “This is the humanizing encounter and one where Jesus has called us to be present.”
What are common misconceptions about the IRS? What tips do you need to know to avoid tax scams? And what can you do if you become the victim of a tax scam or identity theft? In this episode of Courting Justice, senior staff attorney and Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Dee Dee Gowan joins Betsy Isenberg, Director of the Consumer Protection Division at the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, in answering these questions.
Members of the same church, Nick and Chris began to meet regularly for Bible study and coffee back in 2009. Through that close relationship, Nick’s eyes were opened to the great need in our city. “I never really was aware of the legal inequities that our society heaps on the poor, and how difficult it is for many people to navigate a complex legal system that should be protecting them,” he says. “Through getting to know Chris, praying with him, and seeing his passion for serving this community, it began to resonate with me.”
On Wednesday mornings, clients at the Clinic can fill out a small form if they would like prayer. At times, the language barrier complicates things, but Christine trusts the Holy Spirit to guide her. For one woman in particular, Christine felt a powerful need for safety, and so she prayed for a hedge of protection. She then learned more of the woman’s story, which included sexual abuse, drug trafficking, and much danger. Christine says Kathleen told her, “This is not an atypical story.”