Holiday Shopping to Lift Up the Less Fortunate

November 25, 2013 |

This necklace is waiting to be bought
at the VLP 4th annual holiday sale/fund-raiser on Dec. 13.
photo courtesy Cheryl Copperstone

The lack of affordable legal services for poor and working class Pima County residents is well known to anyone working in the legal and social services communities.

The Volunteer Lawyers Program of Southern Arizona Legal Aid, which is one of the few organizations dedicated to this monumental affordable legal services problem, works tirelessly through volunteer legal assistants, volunteer attorneys, and self-help clinics, to bridge that chasm.

Attorneys take assigned cases, such as domestic/divorce and child support and custody matters, for greatly reduced or generally no fee. Legal assistants – through their employers’ generous gift of their time – are available and also provide invaluable assistance to Pima County residents facing such brutal choices of either paying rent or filing that child support petition, or filing a response to that eviction lawsuit versus paying the electricity bill.

The mission statement of the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) is to foster self-sufficiency, equal access to justice and hope by matching volunteer lawyers and legal assistants with Arizonans who have insufficient income to pay for legal work and solvable legal problems. Over 1,000 Pima County attorneys are dedicated members of VLP.

A great example of the individuals providing this needed help to this under-served community is Hector Campoy. Mr. Campoy, a Pima County attorney and formerly a Pima County Judge with 20 years of distinguished service, was honored by VLP recently with its October 2013 “Outstanding Attorney of the Month” award.

Asked what drove him to volunteer with VLP, Mr. Campoy stated for the VLP website that “I would have to be living in a bubble to not recognize the widening drift in our country and our community, between the haves and the have-nots. The need has never been greater.” Mr. Campoy leads domestic relations clinics and assists unrepresented people in preparing their documents for filing.

He encourages other attorneys to volunteer, opining that “the people you are serving are extremely appreciative of your willingness to help. You can help bring a little legitimacy to an otherwise questionably imbalanced relationship between the client and the legal system.”

Now holiday shoppers can help this under-served community as well. On Friday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., affordable handcrafted jewelry, pottery, wearable knit art, purses, hand bags, and other accessories, will be offered for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s VLP program.

This 4th annual holiday sale is on the first floor, in the Pima County Bar Association Conference Room, located in Downtown’s Transamerica Building at 177 N. Church Ave.

The holiday sale organizer, VLP volunteer and local attorney Cheryl Copperstone is excited about the options awaiting the shoppers, saying, “The line-up is fluid, but we have a lot of variety… one lady makes Ukrainian eggs!”

More information is available at

Category: Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE, Events, Shopping