BALS’ Veterans Legal Initiative Endowment Fund
The Need for Veterans’ Legal Services
Each year, Bay Area Legal Services provides legal aid to more than 1,000 military veterans living in the Tampa Bay area, but due to limited resources, we are unable to assist hundreds more who apply for our help.
- The need for veterans’ legal services is significant. Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation, and our five-county service area is home to nearly 315,000 veterans. Of these local veterans, more than 20,000 live at or below the federal poverty level. Most cannot afford to hire an attorney.
- Low-income, disabled, and homeless veterans often face legal problems that cannot be resolved without an attorney. Without legal help, these veterans may not be able to maintain employment, keep their families stable, obtain permanent housing, or secure the veterans benefits which were promised to them when they joined the armed forces to serve our country.
- Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and substance abuse are particularly vulnerable to the stress caused by unresolved legal problems. Without legal help, veterans can become isolated, depressed, homeless, and even suicidal.
To ensure more local veterans receive the legal help they need, BALS has launched our veterans’ legal services initiative and established the Veterans Legal Initiative Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Our goal is to raise $1,000,000. The Community Foundation will provide a $100,000 matching grant when we raise the first $300,000 towards the Endowment.
How You Can Help
With sufficient financial support, we will have the resources to provide specialized, free legal services to more veterans. A donation to the Endowment will enable BALS to implement these initiatives:
- Enhance and expand our medical-legal partnership at the C.W. Young VA Medical Center, which provides legal help to veterans who are enrolled in the VA healthcare system, by collaborating with other veterans’ projects and partnering with veterans’ service centers to provide intake at additional locations in our service area.
- Establish a Veterans Advocacy Team at BALS that is focused solely on legal assistance for veterans. The Team will include full-time staff and volunteer attorneys trained to work with and assist veterans.
- Provide specialized training for BALS staff and volunteer attorneys that is focused on veterans’ unmet legal needs.
- Provide legal resources to empower veterans to help themselves, including self-help forms clinics and legal information workshops that address legal problems commonly faced by veterans.
- Coordinate with veterans’ agencies and support groups to ensure availability and access to the services and resources that veterans need by partnering with local healthcare providers, social service agencies, legal services organizations, bar associations, law firms, and law schools.
Your support of our Endowment will give us the resources we need to build and sustain our veterans’ legal services. Together we can ensure that BALS will provide legal assistance to veterans today and in the future.
Donate to the Veterans Legal Initiative Endowment Fund Today!
Thank you to those who have donated to the Veterans Legal Initiative Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Your generous gift has brought us one step closer to providing the service and care our country’s veterans deserve.
$25,000 and Greater
Hill Ward Henderson
Hillsborough County Bar Foundation
$15,000 - $24,999
Bajo | Cuva | Cohen | Turkel P.A.
$10,000 - $14,999
Mike and Rachelle Bedke
Gregory A. Glynis and Miriam E. Mason
Rywant, Alvarez, Jones, Russo & Guyton, P.A.
White Family Foundation
$5,000 - $9,999
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Mark and Mindy McLaughlin
New York Yankees Tampa Foundation
$3,500 - $4,999
$1,000 - $3,499
American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 273
Thomas D. Arthur
George and Deborah Baxter
Karen and Bob Buesing
Amelia Campbell & Bill Sharon
Betty Castor and Samuel Bell
Honorable Marva Louise Crenshaw
Susan and Bruce Frieman
Richard A. Gilbert
Greco & Wozniak, P.A.
$1,000 - $3,499
Joseph J. Kadow
Charles F. Ketchey, Jr.
Keith and Alice Kiplinger
Kathleen Kloiber Koch
John and Mary Catherine Lamoureux
Fredrick H. L. McClure
Jeff H. Otterman
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Don M. Stichter
Paul L. and Gail F. Whiting
Cary and Alison Wright
Gwynne A. Young
Tom & Magdalena Young
$500 - $999
Honorable Herbert M. Berkowitz and Gloria E. Berkowitz
Nancy and Bob Bolt
Mark A. Brown
Ann H. Campbell
James R. Dirmann
Scott Ilgenfritz and Margaret Mathews
J.P. and Lynda LaCasse
Richard M. Leisner
Kevin P. McCoy
James B. Peake, M.D.
The following individuals have been honored or memorialized with a gift from an endowment donor listed above:
Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke
Maj. Gen. Ernest Bedke
Mike and Rachelle Bedke
Col. Emmett Kelly Bittick, US Army (Ret.)
John W. Boult
Kelly Cruz Brown
Charles S. "Chuck" Casper, II
Captain Michael Anthony Cerrone
Blaise Nolan Gamba
Col. Donald T. Gilbert
James Edwin Hurst, US Army
M.E. Hurst, US Army
Glenn F. Kloiber, US Army
Lieutenant Clarence M. Lawyer, III, USNR
James Leon McCrory, Capt., USAF
Robert F. Motte, US Army
Lieutenant Colonel Omar T. Ojeda, USAF (ret.)
Homer Lee Otterman, US Army
William R. “Bill” Platt
Carlos E. Quintero, 101st Airborne “Charger”
Bruce Adams Samson
George Kimbrell Streeter, US Navy
Thomas Eugene Streeter, US Navy