Since opening its doors in 1994, the Clinic has grown dramatically in staff and programmatic offerings. Apart from the grants and contracts that fund both, much of the work that the Clinic does is dependent on donations from individuals and churches. Programs like Project PEACE and Immigration, as well as less exciting, but necessary expenses like paper and postage, are made possible through the generosity of community members.
One regular donor, Malcolm Gately, first became acquainted with the work of the Clinic through his membership at Grace Church. As a Christian, he was particularly drawn to its mission. He says, “I think the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic exemplifies living out those [Christian] values about as well as any organization I’ve ever seen, as well as practically serving the most vulnerable and challenged people in our area.” Despite this immediate draw to the Clinic, as a non-attorney with a wife and children, a full-time job, and various other commitments, Malcolm knew he lacked the time and training required to assist low-income people with legal issues directly. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t support those already serving such needs in the community. And thus, he and his wife became monthly donors.
Another regular donor, Trent Taylor, first became involved with the Clinic as an intern through Butler University’s Center for Faith and Vocation. That internship eventually turned into a full-time job. And although he left the Clinic several years ago to begin working as an interpreter for the Prosecutor’s office, assisting with non-English speaking victims and witnesses, his connection to the Clinic remains strong. He says, “Where I work I see people who might need legal help … Having a place that they can go to and get treated decently and with respect—as a service provider myself—it’s good to know that resource is out there for people who need it.”
For Malcolm and Trent, being a donor is not a passive activity. Both crave communication and a direct relationship with the organizations they support. A huge part of that for Malcolm is understanding how his donation is being utilized. He says, “That’s one thing [the Clinic] does well, continuing to share about what’s going on and what they’re doing and what’s being accomplished.” Indeed, Malcolm recently chose to visit the Clinic to learn more about day-to-day operations, meeting with the Executive Director and receiving a tour. Trent maintains his relationship with the Clinic by attending events like Brackets for Good watch parties in March or the annual Justice for All Gala.
Ultimately, the decision to give financially to the Clinic was a simple one for both men. Malcolm says, “The Clinic is an organization that can probably more clearly than any other demonstrate the results of its activities. It’s very tangible.” For Trent, the process of donating to the Clinic is simply a set part of his monthly expenses. “Just like the bills that I have to pay every month, I don’t even think twice about doing it,” he says. “I could use that money for my needs, but I also trust that, if I give what’s asked of me, I don’t need to worry about having what I need. God takes care of you.”
For more information on the Clinic or to make a donation, please visit our website.