Local United Way campaign gets to 30 percent of goal

LEWISTOWN – The United Way of Mifflin-Juniata has reached 30 percent, or $180,320 of its $600,000 goal during the campaign that began on Sept. 18 and runs until March 15, 2014.

MidPenn Legal Services is one of the agencies that benefits from working with the United Way. Roxie Garrett, resource coordinator at United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, discusses how partnering with the United Way has served MidPenn Legal Services:

“The strain of a civil legal dispute requires time and money that many people don’t have, even for something as urgent as threatened home foreclosure or vehicle repossession. What residents in the Mifflin-Juniata region may not be aware of, however, is that help is more accessible than ever before. MidPenn Legal Services offers free legal aid through its Telephone Advice Project (TAP), which is proudly funded by the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata. The Telephone Advice Project utilizes an alternate method of consultation in which the client is immediately transferred to a live attorney. The process is much faster than the delayed service at traditional law firms.

“Brenda Zimmerman, attorney and TAP manager, has seen the direct impact this service has on our community. The unique nature of this project allows for clients to call in the midst of an emergency when, for example, people sought help when landlords were illegally changing locks or shutting off utilities.

“For Zimmerman, this project is important because it has a wide reach. She knows that people need questions answered immediately and TAP provides those answers. In the 2012/2013 year, 130 new TAP cases were opened in Mifflin and Juniata counties. Residents in our community saved $22,598, and TAP saved five client homes this year through advocacy in foreclosure and eviction.

“MidPenn Legal’s work is vitally important to the overall prosperity of the Mifflin-Juniata area. An anonymous client spoke highly of the service they received: ‘I was treated with kindness and respect, even with all the problems I couldn’t seem to express. Thank you so much.’

“Our community is improved by this consultation program, and the United Way is happy to continue their support of MidPenn Legal’s Telephone Advice Project as the 2014 campaign continues.”