The Newark-based Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) recently had some energy added to their recent fundraising mission. David Bershad, a Montclair resident and founder of the Bershad Family Foundation, has issued the nonprofit where he is a member of the board of trustees a challenge grant. In order to receive the $65,000 that he has pledged from his Foundation, VLJ must raise a similar amount by July 15th.
Founding Executive Director Karen Sacks said “Our board is cognizant that we really need to diversify our funding sources” and they are working diligently to do so. Over the 13 years that the VLJ has been in business, they have grown sensitive to the areas of greatest need for those who need free legal services. As Sacks said, “We have a keener sense of what the issues are that we need to grapple with.”
VLJ offers free legal aid and counsel on family law, consumer law, bankruptcy and special education. In addition, they offer educational seminars and direct representation for individuals with civil legal issues.
In the based, David Bershad has donated $50,000 to the ReLeSe program which has helped individuals with criminal records to reintegrate into the community.
The click is now ticking to see if they can match the generous donation set out by David Bershad in time.