Sally Around the Bay

Marin Cares

 ***Please note: The #MarinCares crowdfunding campaign ended on April 14, 2014 but you can still make a donation to Legal Aid of Marin to support the Marin Community Court here.***

Dear Marin Friends and Neighbors,

If you follow me on social media you may have noticed I have been helping Legal Aid of Marin raise funds via crowdfunding for the Marin Community Court. Less than six months ago, I was talking with Paul Cohen, the Executive Director of Legal Aid of Marin and he mentioned something about the Marin Community Court. I was like, Wait! What is that?! I have never heard of it! Tell me more! He started telling me about how it is a volunteer run community court, held once a month at Vinnie’s dining hall in San Rafael and is a partnership of Legal Aid of Marin, the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Marin County and the Marin County Superior Court.

I told Paul, if I had never heard of this court, I am willing to bet a bunch of other Marin residents had not either! We need to know about these cool things happening in our community.

Vinnies Quote

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

Everyone from the judge to the court clerk to the lawyers and others volunteer their time monthly to help less fortunate individuals (homeless or living in poverty) overcome small lifestyle infractions. By lifestyle infractions, I mean things such as getting a ticket for sleeping in your car or a park, parking tickets, fix-it tickets, traffic violations, etc.  The volunteers at the Marin Community Court are very successful in resolving their cases in the court system while at the same time connecting them with much-needed social services in a compassionate and respectful way.

Imagine you are a single mother living off of food stamps, working full time at Subway or McDonalds for minimum wage, you have an old, unreliable car you use to get your kids to school and yourself to work. One stressful day on the way home from picking up your kids from school you do not make a complete stop at a stop sign, the next thing you know… you have a ticket! Your budget is so tight you have to choose between paying that ticket or buying your kid’s asthma medicine (or new shoes, or whatever it is your kid really needs), you choose to buy the medicine for your kid and deal with the ticket later. As you know, ignored tickets grow and get bigger! This starts a downward spiral that can sometimes push hard working people over the edge and in to homelessness. These are the kind of people and cases the Marin Community Court helps! And we can all help the Marin Community Court stay open by donating today!

Imagine if every Marin resident who was able to, donated $10! That $10 would go so far in improving the lives of many! And I will let you in on a little secret… there is an anonymous donor who has offered to match the fund! Our ultimate goal was to raise $30,000, but we set the crowdfunding amount to a goal we felt was realistic and attainable in the 30 days. Thanks to the anonymous donor, if we can reach our $15,000 goal we will reach our ultimate goal and YOU can help! Donate today! $5, $10, $100, $10,000 it all helps! It all makes a difference and it will show the struggling members of our community that Marin really does care!

Marin has the reputation of being uber wealthy! What many people don’t realize is that there are also a lot of people living in Marin who are dealing with real poverty on a daily basis.

In case you are wondering why an all volunteer court needs financial assistance… I have an answer for you. Legal Aid of Marin is currently using a lot of paid staff time behind the scenes to keep this court running smoothly and they need your help to be able to sustain this staff time. It takes about 30 staff hours per week to maintain the program at its current level.

So please, donate today! My personal goal is to see lots of donors! Of course, I want to reach the financial goal but I also want to know that Marin Cares! Right now we have 57 individual donors, there are over 250,000 people living in Marin! Some of those 57 donors are volunteers from the program! I don’t think I have ever met such generous people. Can you help us get that number up by donating today? Seriously, it only takes about a minute, maybe less.

Thank you for supporting this cause! Please help me by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter and any where else online. Email your friends! Let’s spread the word about this awesome resource Marin County has!

#MarinCares

PS. Thank you so much to my mom and all of my Twitter and Facebook friends who have already donated! Some of you don’t even live in Marin! You rock!

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