By Kseniya Kniazeva
SALT LAKE CITY – One of Utah’s newest residents is giving back to the state that has welcomed him with open arms. Major League Baseball Centerfielder Dexter Fowler, one of the Colorado Rockies’ most popular and promising young players who was traded to the Houston Astros earlier this month, has pledged to raise money for civil legal aid through and Justice for all (AJFA) from today until Christmas via Twitter.
“I have deep ties to Utah and care a lot about this state. My wife, Aliya, has family in Sandy and grew up here, and my little girl will be born here in a few months. We recently bought a home overlooking this beautiful valley. It’s time we gave back to our state.”
Fowler will donate $1 to for every new follower he gains on Twitter as he tweets about AND JUSTICE FOR ALL and the need to expand civil legal aid across Utah. Fowler can be followed @DexFowler.
When asked why he chose AND JUSTICE FOR ALL to support his holiday season, Fowler said:
“You know, I’m in a really great place right now, but there are a lot of people in Utah who aren’t as lucky. Homeless veterans, battered women, seniors who don’t have their retirement, disabled people with no mobility or accessibility, even victims of human trafficking. All these people’s struggles – yes, here in our back yard – can be solved if we just gave them better access to lawyers, especially to those who can’t afford it. It’s why I’m excited to work with AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.”
Ironically, most Americans are wrong about justice. 80 percent think that civil legal aid is provided free to everyone, just as in criminal cases. But that’s not true. So when a poor woman cannot afford to pay for an attorney so she can obtain a protective order against her abusive husband she has to rely on one of AND JUSTICE FOR ALL’s agencies.
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL is the resource-sharing umbrella organization for Utah’s primary civil legal aid agencies: Disability Law Center, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake, and Utah Legal Services. This year – and Fowler’s tweet – marks the 15th anniversary of the organization helping 416,370 people out of life’s most terrible situations since 1998.
“We’re so glad to have Dexter’s support,” AND JUSTICE FOR ALL Executive Director Kai Wilson said. “If it weren’t for our generous partners, like Dexter, who are willing to raise awareness for Utahns who lack an advocate, and without the support of Utah’s charitable legal community over all these years, we couldn’t have helped so many people resolve their serious legal problems.”
“Yet we’re still severely underfunded,” AND JUSTICE FOR ALL Development Director Kseniya Kniazeva added. “We can only provide in depth services to one out of every three people who come in our doors. More than 80,000 other disadvantaged Utahns have no way to secure the basic needs that many of us take for granted – physical safety, family stability, habitable shelter, access to healthcare and other crucial services. Dexter’s support in raising awareness that there is a Justice Gap in Utah is the first step for us to get the necessary resources to bridge that gap.”
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL has recently received a four out of four possible star rating by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management, transparency and low overhead costs.
“We’re proud of this honor. Only one-fourth of U.S. charities receive this type of rating. We will be sure to put Fowler’s donations to good use improving the community around him … around all of us,” Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake Executive Director Stewart Ralphs said.
“Help promote Justice, help celebrate our 15th Anniversary, and most of all, follow Dexter Fowler at @DexFowler. Tweet and re-tweet his posts. Tell you friends to sign up for Twitter just to follow Dexter. After all, he’s our state’s only Major League Baseball star. Help him as he supports justice,” Kniazeva finished.
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, contact Kseniya Kniazeva at email@example.com. You may also join the justice conversation by following us on @Justice_4_UT and liking us on facebook.com/UtahAJFA. To donate to justice, please click here.