Letter From Leadership: Looking Back on 2019

A letter from Development Director Libby King.

When the calendar flipped to January 2019, I was wringing my hands thinking about our fundraising goal of over $4,000,000.

Why did I say we could raise $1,000,000 for the Annual Campaign? Could we submit that many grants? And could we also raise $500,000 to be matched by an anonymous donor, creating our first-ever reserve fund?

What was I thinking?

But I knew it was worth the challenge: each and every dollar raised for this organization takes us a step further in our mission: to create safe and stable homes and families by inspiring the fight for equal justice.

So we got to work.

As I write this, you have contributed $1,060,614 to the 2019 Annual Campaign, $506,750 for the SAFE Fund, and well over $2,500,000 in grant support. The generosity of the Atlanta community has blown us away this year! All we can say is, “THANK YOU!”

Thank you Lizanne Thomas and David Balser for leading the 2019 Annual Campaign Steering Committee, and thank you to Ashley Heintz and everyone who worked so hard to make PurSHOEing Justice a success. Thank you to Tyler Wright, Bethany Rupert, and the Junior Board of Directors for their work on the annual Beer Tasting, and thank you to Jim McGinnis and our friends at Warner Bates for hosting the 2019 Guardian ad Litem event. We appreciate everyone who made a call on our behalf or attended one of our events.   

Our clients are grateful too for your support. Here are just a few ways you made a difference:


clients served*


worth of community assistance provided


visitors to the Safe Families Office


worth of health and safety products distributed

*4,106 cases were opened in 2019, representing 4,663 adults and 4,508 children – not including approximately 3,242 visitors to the Housing Court Assistance Center

John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” The spirit of AVLF is daily gratitude for our donors, volunteers, friends, and staff. You all collectively make it possible for the organization to assist individuals facing illegal evictions and deplorable living conditions along with those escaping intimate partner abuse.

You came to our trainings, you stood by our clients in court, and you made sure that we are and will be financially stable. In 2020, we intend to say thank you in more ways – personally and publicly – to everyone who supports us. The coming year will bring new initiatives and successes to share with you. We wish you and yours a joyful holiday, and again, thank you.


Want to read other Letters From Leadership? They are an easy way to find out what drives us here at AVLF. You can find them all here.