What a year it has been. In 2019, our foundation provided settlement advances to over 80 families to help them make ends meet while they pursued justice. Some of the people we helped were trying to escape homelessness. Others were struggling to keep the lights on or put food on the table. Each person’s unique story began with a sudden tragedy that upended them physically, emotionally, and financially, and the funding we provided gave them the stability to see their lawsuit through to the end.
Like Beth*, whose husband died from cancer after being exposed to toxic chemicals in a creek that ran through their hometown. She and many of her neighbors are pursuing justice from the chemical company, but Beth fell on hard times in the midst of litigation. At the time she reached out, she had been let go from her job and was raising a disabled adult son on her own. Our foundation provided Beth with a small advance to help her make ends meet until she got a new job. A few weeks ago, she emailed us to share the good news.
“Your [funding] was a huge help! I have a really good job – the best job I ever had – working for a global firm. Thank you… I do not think I would have gotten this job without it.”
This year we also helped Patricia*, who lost her husband when a fight broke out and he was hit by stray bullets in the federally subsidized housing complex where they lived. When our foundation funded her, Patricia was pursuing a wrongful death claim against the project and some of its managers and employees who should have maintained safety. She wrote to us later to express how much our advance had helped her.
“I found myself going through the worst moments of my life emotionally and financially. Bairs Foundation immediately responded back to me and listened. Had it not been for the Bairs Foundation, I would have gone through major struggles at a moment of profound grief. I am forever grateful.”
More recently, Craig* requested a small amount of funding. After suffering severe injuries in a car crash, he lost his home. He is currently homeless with three children. His trial is scheduled for early next year so hopefully, resolution is close, but he desperately needs help in the interim.
It is our mission to help as many people as possible stand up to the people or companies that hurt them, because that is what civil justice is all about. Since our foundation’s inception, we have provided over $2.27 million in advances. But the truth is, we have had to turn down 57% of the requests we’ve received this year. Without more support from our friends in the civil justice space, some people like Craig will have to go elsewhere for financial help. It’s a heartbreaking thought, because our competitors are not as fair with the interest they charge – which can create more financial problems when it comes time to pay those companies back.
Our innovative approach to providing low-interest funding has been recognized by civil justice advocates across the country. But recognition is not enough to enable us to continue providing fair funding to plaintiffs in need.
This Giving Season, we ask you to help your fellow American have a fair shot at seeing their lawsuit through to its end. Your support will help cover the basic living expenses of those who have fallen victim to tragedy. They need us, and we need your help.
Every contribution makes a difference. Please call (716) 970-7100 or visit www.give.classy.org/bairsforjustice to help our 501(c)(3) nonprofit continue our mission.
*Names have been changed to maintain their privacy.