December 4, 2013. Elgin. The Christian ministry Administer Justice, located in Elgin, won a national award for its local charity work. If you’re homeless, poor, old, abused, victimized, or just plain lost and scared, you’ve got friends at Administer Justice. Their army of volunteers, councilors and lawyers don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. And WORLD Magazine just honored them for it.
Bruce Strom (L) of Administer Justice accepts the 2013 Hope Award. Image courtesy of Jeffrey T. Marshall/Pixel Rally.
Administer Justice describes itself as, ‘a non-profit charitable legal aid organization serving the needs of low-income and no-income individuals. We operate as a full time professional law office that also offers other services leading to personal empowerment built on Biblical principals.’ In other words, they are straight-shooting lawyers and volunteers who genuinely care. And unlike many foundations and attorneys who turn down scary or unbelievable victims and their legal problems, Administer Justice isn’t afraid to go to the darkest depths of America’s social ills to help those most in need.
2013 Hope Award for Effective Compassion
The annual award is sponsored and administered by World News Group in Ashville, NC and their six publications, most notably its standard bearer, World Magazine. This is the 8th year the Christian news organization has held the Hope Award for those tirelessly working to help those in need and those less fortunate.
Throughout the year, World Magazine accepts nominations for people, companies or organizations that are most effective in carrying out the spirit of charity in their local areas. At the end of the year, the publication narrows the finalists down to one from each region of the US and one international nominee. This year, the five regional finalists were Administer Justice in Illinois, My Safe Harbor in California, Hope Christian Center in New York, Beltline Bike Shop in Georgia, and Hope International based in Haiti.
As detailed in the announcement by World Magazine, after a month of voting by the magazine’s readers, Administer Justice finished first among the five finalists. At a reception in Washington, DC two weeks ago, the Elgin-based Christian legal aid attorneys claimed their award and their $25,000 prize. The four runner-ups also each received an award of $4,000 to help assist them in their noble efforts.
The publication detailed some of the many reasons Administer Justice was nominated to represent the Midwest in the 2013 Hope Award competition. ‘More than 40,000 persons have sought legal help from the ministry,’ World Magazine writes, ‘Services are free for anyone with an income under 125 percent of the federal poverty line. Those a little over the line can still receive free consultations and are charged reduced fees.’
Administer Justice – Elgin, IL
The organization of volunteers and attorneys at Administer Justice aren’t simply advocates or preachers. They get things done. Take it from someone who’s living the legal nightmare of being a wrongly prosecuted, poverty-stricken single parent who desperately needs legal help before things get even worse. This author knows all too well that for the vast majority of poor people in need of legal aid, they feel like they have nowhere they can go for help. And then Administer Justice appears on the horizon.
The monetary award and its recognition should help the foundation help even more people in need. "There are so many nonprofits doing amazing work throughout our country," Administer Justice Founder Bruce Strom said while accepting the 2013 Hope Award, "We are excited and honored to receive this award which will strengthen our ability to serve more of our low income neighbors throughout suburban Chicago."
The organization’s website goes into detail regarding the type of work their staff and volunteers do. ‘Our clients come to us because they have a civil matter for which they need guidance and possibly representation in court,’ the site explains, ‘Some are spouses needing to escape the abuse of their partner, whether physical or emotional. Some are single parents unable to support their children because their spouse walked away from their responsibility.’
Showing it’s not only domestic issues that the group helps with, the Administer Justice website continues, ‘We see elderly clients who have been victims of fraud by contractors taking advantage of their vulnerability on home repairs. We see people who lost what little they had to predatory lenders charging up to 300% interest on loans that could never be repaid under those rates. We deal with landlord/tenant situations, contract disputes, custody enforcement, and many other civil issues for which our clients would have had no hope of resolving without the intercession of a legal advocate.’
Congratulations to Administer Justice in Elgin, Illinois. The work you are doing is as desperately needed as it is appreciated. For more information, visit AdministerJustice.org.
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