A letter from Executive Director Marty Ellin.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
If every holiday, or better yet every day, I would look for and recognize all the things there are to appreciate, I would live a fully joyous life – every day I receive a stunning array of gifts! But I get busy and distracted and I forget to offer even a simple “thank you.”
AVLF is the idea that, inspired to fight for justice and led by the lawyers of our community, together we can create safe and stable families and homes.
Thanksgiving, however, is dedicated to a singular focus: gratitude. And with the notion pushed right before me, I write to tell you – every one of you – that I and my extraordinary colleagues at Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation are grateful for the opportunity to know, work with, depend upon, struggle with and be lifted by you, your support and your love.
AVLF is a nonprofit, it is a series of neighborhood offices, it is a growing staff of generous humans – AVLF has a number of physical manifestations. But mostly, AVLF is the idea that, inspired to fight for justice and led by the lawyers of our community, together we can create safe and stable families and homes. AVLF is the recognition that real justice demands unlimited access to it; AVLF is the presumption that everyone with a Bar license understands that license for the weapon that it is and will use it to promote the common good.
We appreciate every single thing you do that allows us to honor our commitment to excellence.
And AVLF works because so many of you stand with us, and today we take particular pleasure in telling the Atlanta community, all of our friends and partners, that we are grateful beyond easy words, and that we appreciate every single thing you do that allows us to honor our commitment to excellence.
I hope that it does not seem like too hard a pivot to mention Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and historian. Wiesel experienced the worst of inhumanity; he also somehow embodied gratitude. In his Nobel prize acceptance speech, Wiesel said: No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.
Again in 2020, AVLF will be a place where those desperate to join the struggle for justice will find good company.
The resource-poor of Atlanta who face a legal problem need us all desperately. Atlanta’s lawyers and paralegals need meaningful pro bono opportunities desperately. Those who want “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” need each other desperately.
Again in 2020, AVLF will be a place where those desperate to join the struggle for justice will find good company. And unending gratitude for all that together we may do.
In this season of kindness, we thank you for yours. Happy Thanksgiving!
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.