Read on to learn why Arlene volunteers:
- Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?
There are always people who cannot pay for services that seem optional but are life changing if left undone. For me to remain silent/still when there is working equipment and experience to be shared, at nearly no financial cost, would be wrong. Tutoring was my first venture, trying to help peers who couldn’t understand one issue or one concept and would have failed, and I loved it.
Doing this with MVLS is fairly new, but after “pro bono” piano for 45 years, I could immediately identify with potential insurmountable burdens as Janice presented the opportunity.
- Do you have any standout stories?
Actually nearly all of the cases I have been assigned have been standout people with kind and grateful hearts. Perhaps the most difficult to remediate has been – continues to be – active in a wide range of areas, and has taught me the most about the utter frustration in dealing directly with agencies when there are mental limitations. Each layer of each issue, when removed, opened up unknown previous obligations or miscues, and no single agency could have sorted this out. The standout story is the MVLS is uniquely qualified to provide that sliver of hope because we do cross over from one issue to another.
- What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?
Two are tied: the grateful sighs and smiles when there is a solution, and the time spent with taxpayers I would never otherwise have met. Had I time to plan a picnic, for example, I would want to be able to invite everyone I’ve had the chance to deal with, sit down and chat and enjoy a day. But then, if I had the picnic, I would miss the next case…
- Why should other attorneys do pro bono?
There is significant value in providing funding for the entire operation, and I can identify with being too busy to actually DO hands-on help. But, intentionally setting aside time to step into another person’s abyss and help him see the ladder leading up, even when he presents an unimaginable combination of deadlines, wrong turns, unavailable information, and uneven cooperation, we become sharper at sorting out and providing the steps.
- Where do you see the impact civil legal services in the next ten years?
Having all things now online, there is the presumption by various agencies that all things can be sorted into two to five options, nice square boxes to fill with an X and move on. Without an updated, fully equipped computer at hand, with certain phone numbers that are acceptable, and money to spend on all changes that are beyond comprehension, many – I dare say most citizens – will be facing legal issues simply by being rendered unqualified to reply on the right date or thru the right portal.