COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation is responding to the legal needs of low-income Ohioans struggling to be stable through the COVID-19 crisis and is asking for public support through #GivingTuesdayNow.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that legal health means public health. Ohio’s nine legal aids are helping Ohioans remain safely housed during the crisis; access financial supports to carry them through the economic downturn; and, obtain health care services. As the Foundation’s supportive funding comes in large part from Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA), Foundation funding is experiencing a dramatic decline with the reduction of the Federal Funds Interest Rate to 0 percent.
Executive Director of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation Angie Lloyd worries that, “The decline in interest rates will mean less money to fund legal services at a time when there is increased need among Ohioans. One way that people can help is by donating to the Foundation or directly to Ohio’s legal aids this Giving Tuesday.”
Last year, Ohio’s legal aids served nearly 141,000 Ohioans, many of whom are seniors, veterans, domestic violence survivors, and children. This year, and, likely into next year, there will be even greater need as Ohioans struggling to make ends meet work to rebound successfully from the COVID-19 crisis. Legal aid clients are often the hourly workers whose livelihoods have been most threatened by the decreased economic activity during the pandemic. Legal aid can help all of us and our communities by keeping those workers, Ohio’s seniors and veterans, and Ohio’s vulnerable populations stable during the crisis. You can help by supporting the Foundation on #GivingTuesdayNow.
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place tomorrow on May 5, 2020 –as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
Those interested in joining the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation’s #GivingTuesdayNow efforts can visit www.ohiojusticefoundation.org/give-now/.
The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation improves fairness and access to justice for all Ohioans. Established in 1994 as the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, the Foundation funds Ohio’s legal aids through the IOLTA/IOTA program, a civil filing fee surcharge, and donations. Legal aid helps families, children, veterans, seniors, and other Ohioans struggling to make ends meet get back on their feet and on the road to self-sufficiency. Through the Foundation’s work, Ohioans have access to legal help, advice, and representation, which ensures fairness for all in the justice system.