Every Dollar Counts

A recent shift in donors has been especially encouraging to the Engagement Team. Maggie says, “2014 was the first year that we really had a surge in first-time donors who used to be clients … Now that they’re not clients anymore, they want to give back to people who are in their positions, which has been incredibly moving for us. We have clients sending in one dollar or five dollars—just whatever they can spare.”

Farewell, February!

We’ve got some exciting things coming up for the rest of Brackets for Good and for the month of March. Be sure to check in with the blog next week when we release the first episode of the Clinic’s new podcast, Courting Justice! If you have legal questions or thoughts on things you’d like to learn more about, please follow us on Twitter @NCLegalClinic and use the hashtag #CourtingJustice to send us your comments and questions!

Immigrant Justice Program: Serving the Persecuted

Brandon Fitzsimmons, who serves as the Program Manager for IJP, acknowledges the hardships faced by immigrants who come to this country. He says, “There is a sacrifice taking place on the side of the client, because they are leaving their homeland, the place where they were born and have their earliest memories and deepest cultural sensibilities.” Considering the hardships faced by immigrants helps to spur on their work, day by day. Rachel adds, “I like to remind people of how hard working immigrants are—that they are not taking advantage of our system. They’re not criminals; they’re not rapists; they’re not horrible people. They’re just trying to make a better life for themselves.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“I don’t even know how to say thank you for the wonderful work you do. I can’t tell you what this means to me…and what a difference it has made to me before the paperwork was even signed. Just knowing I was getting this help has really been a springboard for me to address other things I have needed to take care of for so long. It has been such a confidence builder for me and given me a sense of self-worth I haven’t had for a long time.”

Meet Volunteer Attorney, Brigadier General Art Johnson

Despite his positivity, Art is no stranger to hardship. Last year, he successfully underwent treatment for prostate cancer. Recently, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. But he maintains an attitude of gratefulness. He says, “If I look at God’s grace, I have it in orders of magnitude.” He counts off his blessings: his career, getting to go to Law School, and, most of all, his wife, Penny. “No matter what happens, I’m blessed,” he says. “The Parkinson’s thing? That’s God’s will. He knew this was coming before I was born. And it’s just part of the deal.”

A Family Reunited

Rachel says that although this kind of complex immigration process is often taxing on both her and on the clients she assists, outcomes like this are great learning experiences and serve as important reminders. “It taught me that we always have to be patient and sometimes the answer isn’t revealed to us right away, but as long as we endure, we’ll be okay.” Now, Ko Mya Aye and his family have finally been reunited here in the U.S. He told Rachel, “My family is complete again.”

Abundant Life: A Message from Executive Director Chris Purnell

But look beyond the humor, look beyond the “human, all too human” side of resolutions and you’ll see something that is precious and thick. We long for something transcendent. We hope for some final resolution of all of our worn-down hopes and teary-eyed dreams. That resolution to lose 15 pounds may be a longing for a new body, one that will never be corrupted or see decay. That resolution to read 12 books may be a longing for a renewed mind that is perceptive and wise. That resolution to treat people better (Lord, help us) may be a longing for people to live in peace with each other, for us to not learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4).