Keep the Change

Posted by Joyce Tischler, ALDF's Founder and General Counsel on March 5, 2007

The other day, as I was rummaging through some of ALDF’s earliest files, I found a memo dated May 31, 1980 that referred to our “extremely modest treasury of approximately $140.”  All I could do was laugh; I can’t imagine ever trying to run this organization on that little money, but I guess, for a time, we did. At that point, we were a tiny group composed entirely of attorney and law student volunteers. We had big plans; however, we possessed no capital, no office, no equipment, no overhead and no staff. There was also no one to pat us on the head and say: “Not to worry; you’ll realize your dreams, you’ll build a viable organization; you won’t go under.”

If I had known then what I know now, would it have changed the course of this journey? Yes…no…who knows? Forming and developing a charitable nonprofit group takes many things, not the least of which is a leap of faith that it will all turn out “okay.” As the years whirl by, in the ever present crush of doing my work, I have traded one set of concerns for another, and another, and another. It’s sweet to look back and remember that there was a time when all we had were the possibilities.


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