South Carolina Bar Foundation | Foundation Focus E-Newsletter | October 2020

Dear Friend of the Foundation,

In some ways it is hard to believe it is October, then again, 2020 sometimes feels like an entire decade crammed in 10 months. Although we are disappointed that we cannot celebrate the Foundation's 50th anniversary with you in person, we are wishing you well and look forward to coming together again before too long. These times continue to bring uncertainty and anxiety in all aspects of our lives but we are so grateful for your support and helping provide funding to help our fellow South Carolinians who are struggling even more than ever.
The desire to improve the lives of those in need continues and is reinforced through our mission to promote justice by funding legal access and education. Unfortunately, it is all too clear that as the pandemic continues, the needs of those struggling to get by grow exponentially.
Although at times like these it can be easy to despair, we continue to look at the positive and good in this world.  Our 50th anniversary celebration does not look much like we planned, we are still working to recognize all of you that have made and continue to make a difference.   With your help, we can work together to stem the tide of legal and social inequity and ensure that 50 years from now our fellow South Carolinians will be proud of all that we accomplished.  
We are asking that you consider making a lasting impact and donating in honor of this momentous occasion. There are many ways you can help and here so some examples:
  • Meet President, Jennifer Blumenthal's $50 for 50 Challenge.
  • Get your Foundation Friend digital badge for any personal donation of $250 or more
  • Get your firm/corporate digital donation badge for any firm donation of $500 or more
  • Recognize your friends and family with a gift in their memory or in honor
  • Turn your gift into recurring gift- weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. You set the amount and forget that you need to donate
  • Donate stock or life insurance to ensure you make a lasting impact.
  • Ensure a justice legacy by including the SCBF in your will or estate plan.  If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make tax-free gifts directly from your IRA.
  • Participate in #givingtuesday on December 1st
  • Donate annually
  • Make a pledge and pay monthly, weekly, quarterly or at the end of the year
  • Shop and support through AmazonSmile
However you choose to donate, you will make a difference in someone's life today.  87 cents of every donated dollar goes to support our grantees.  Your investment in justice for all will reap dividends for years to come.  We appreciate your support and hope to see you face to face before too long.  If you need more information, contact the SC Bar Foundation or visit our website.
Wishing you continued health,
Megan, Marisa & Melissa 
Your SCBF Staff

Inspiration from Foundation

"As the SC Bar Foundation celebrates 50 years of service to the state, I am excited to donate knowing the tremendous work of our grantees. I am especially motivated to support such a wonderful organization during this time of uncertainty. I know people are struggling and it helps me to make sense of the world by giving my time and money to sow comfort and justice."   

Digital Badges

We hope you have seen our anniversary celebration badges sprinkled across the internet on your social media pages, at the bottom of email signatures, and on firm websites. It has been such a pleasure creating these individually and having the opportunity to personally thank each donor for their support of the Foundation, our mission, and our grantees.  
If you would like to receive your own badge, and personal thanks, simply donate $250 or more (or $500 or more for firms) before June 31, 2021 as we virtually celebrate our 50th anniversary. 
Thank you for your steadfast support of the SC Bar Foundation!
President Blumenthal's Challenge:  
$50 FOR 50 YEARS 
At the beginning of her presidency, Jennifer Bluemnthal issued a challenge for all members of the SC Bar to donate $50 in support and celebration of the 50 years of service the South Carolina Bar Foundation has provided to the community.  Many of you have already responded, and we encourage everyone else, especially those who have never made a donation to our organization, to join along.  This challenge will help supplement the inability for us to raise money at events that we would have been able to put on if 2020 had been like any other year.  
Shop Prime Day with Amazon Smile
OCTOBER 13th and 14th 
Prime Day is an annual deal event just for Prime members on Oct. 13-14, delivering incredible savings on products from small businesses and top brands. Beat the holiday hustle and shop for everyone on your gift list during Prime Day and make sure to use and designate us as your benefactor so a portion of the sale is donated to us! No extra cost or time to you!
#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. After we celebrate Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, remember to give back on Tuesday as we strive to support the throughout our community. 
YLD $20 in 2020
The SC Bar's Young Lawyer Division is demonstrating their support for the Foundation by hosting a $20 in 2020. If you are a member of the YLD please consider making a $20 donation! Their goal is to get is 100% participation among YLD members. The combined efforts of the YLD can make an amazing impact on our fundraising efforts.
For those who have already participated, we thank you, and urge you to challenge your friends to do the same!
End of Year Giving 
Looking for a last minute tax deduction while helping out a great cause? Consider making an End of Year gift to the SC Bar Foundation! Give the gift of justice before December 31, 2020!  

We'd be honored for you to partner with us in becoming a recurring donor. Please visit our website or contact us for more information!
Together we can grant legal access and education to all!

DuRuant Nominations 

Nominations are being accepted for the annual DuRant Distinguished Public Service Award 2020. This award is one of the most prestigious statewide honors that members of the Bar can bestow on a fellow attorney. Past recipients include former University of South Carolina School of Law Dean Robert Wilcox (pictured below with Immediate Past President, Chris Koon), and Sue Berkowitz, director of  SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center.  
If you know an attorney worthy of such a honor, please submit a nomination form here before 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2020. 
Board Member Focus 

Whitney with her State Fair
Blue Ribbon Baking team
For those of you who don't know her, we would like to introduce you to the hard-working, enthusiastic, and innovative-thinking, one and only Whitney Harrison, of McGowan Hood & Felder LLC.  Whitney has been an integral part of extending the Historical Society's Oral Histories program reach to a new generation through the production of the South Carolina Supreme Court's Historical Society's Podcast.

Whitney has been very involved in the Foundation since she joined the Board all while having a very active legal practice. Because of her service and hard work, the The South Carolina Bar recognized her as the 2019 Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award recipient at last year's Bar Convention. The award recognizes members of the Bar who have demonstrated substantial dedication to the furtherance of the art and techniques of trial and appellate advocacy in South Carolina, outstanding and exemplary skill and conduct in their practice of advocacy, and have devoted substantial time and effort to the education and training of lawyers. Whitney is the first woman to receive the award! We asked her a few personal questions to allow you to get to know her better.
What initially led you to become involved with the SCBF?
The Foundation's mission-seeking to help every South Carolinian recognize and secure their legal rights-resonated with me. As lawyers, we have the ability to help people daily, but that doesn't always translate to systemic change. After learning about the Foundation's work, I wanted to be part of a broader statewide conversation about how to help improve justice for everyone, which includes making sure resources are provided to groups that are wholehearted and dedicated to improving their local communities.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of serving as a SCBF Board member?
The best part about working with the Foundation is meeting with the grantees. Through these exchanges, each of us on the Board gets the opportunity to learn more about problems in our communities and help be part of the solution.
What is your hope for the future of the Foundation?
I hope that the Foundation becomes a beacon for service and aid for citizens across the State so that when any lawyer is seeking to make an impact with a gift that the Foundation will be entrusted to invest such generosity to our grantees.
What's an item on your professional bucket list?
Arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court.
If you could interview any deceased attorney from any time period for the Historical Society Podcast, who would it be and why?
Edna Smith Primus. In 1972, Mrs. Primus became the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of South Carolina School of Law. The next year, she worked with the ACLU to help impoverished, pregnant women understand their rights when they were denied access to medical care without agreeing to forced sterilization. Mrs. Primus was reprimanded for soliciting clients, first privately and then publicly, after taking her case to the Supreme Court of South Carolina. She appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and won.
I learned about Mrs. Primus in the fall of 2019. I was struck by the story of a woman who provided a voice for women who had none and who refused to be silenced when her advocacy was challenged. I quickly realized that her story was one very few knew. I had hoped to interview Mrs. Primus to forever preserve her voice and ensure her story could be shared, but she passed away in December 2019, before an interview could take place. I would have loved to have asked her what it was like to be a young lawyer, and a woman of color, and how that experience shaped her.
Her story is one that should be championed. Mrs. Primus is a 2020 Columbia's City of Women Honoree, and the Historical Society will be hosting an event to honor her in the coming months. I am thrilled that others can learn about her courage and character. For me, Mrs. Primus will forever be an inspiration, as well as a reminder that there are important stories that need to be captured so that future generations can know the heart and passion of some of our State's finest lawyers.
Knowing all you know now as an attorney, what is one thing you would have told your 1L self in law school?
Struggling and failing is part of the process. Through failure, you learn what matters and you become stronger and a better person.
Whitney, we are thankful for your service and excitement for the work and mission of The Foundation and the legal field.  We are lucky to know you!  

Grantee Focus 
South Carolina Legal Services is the sole statewide provider of civil legal services to low-income South Carolinians. SCLS continues to develop more aggressive advocacy and strengthen the capacity of lead attorneys and substantive work units addressing all areas of poverty law but focusing its work in the areas of tax, housing, consumer protection, public benefits, domestic violence, education and elder law.
The global pandemic interrupted their work initially, preventing them from getting into the community to meet with clients, and now doubled with the results of the pandemic shut-downs.  The loss of employment, loss of housing, and even the increase of desperate attempts by those in poverty to seek income from sources such as title loans to make ends meet, have overwhelmed the needs of clients versus the amount of help available.  They shared the example below of one example of COVID's repercussion in Jane's story.
Jane, a single mother with several young children, was served with an eviction notice in February. After losing her job she applied for, but had not yet received any, unemployment benefits and was awaiting her income tax refund.
Later, Jane was able to pay the past due rent. However, she did not answer the eviction action because she assumed that payment of the rent ended the eviction. Jane made several attempts to pay ongoing rent at the management office of her complex, but the office was closed due to the COVID 19 stay at home order.
The landlord did not move forward with the eviction action filed in February because of the Supreme Court's issued moratorium. However, when that moratorium ended, Jane received a certified letter from the landlord on July 31st advising her to move out of the property within 30 days. The eviction action from February had moved forward even though she had paid her back rent. Jane was unaware of this until she was served with a Writ of Ejectment, informing her that she had to be out of her home in three days.  Jane applied for legal services while in the process of packing her personal belongings. Not only would Jane lose her home, but she would also lose her Section 8 voucher if the eviction was ordered.
An SCLS attorney filed a motion to stay the eviction action. With the attorney's assistance, the eviction case was dismissed by the Judge. Jane and her children were able to stay in their home and keep the Section 8 voucher. She has returned to work and is now able to pay her rent without difficulty.
This is just one example of the work that SCLS provides daily, and we are so proud to grant funding to them in their efforts to help truly deserving South Carolinians with the legal services they so desperately need in these trying times. Thank you for your support of SC Bar Foundation, and our grantees such as South Carolina Legal Services.
Names and images have been changed to protect the privacy of the client.
After a break this summer, the SC Supreme Court Historical Society has released the Oral History of C. Bruce Littlejohn! Make sure you listen and subscribe here
so you don't miss the latest episode releases. 
Want to be a part of the Historical Society? Become a member today!

SC Bar Convention Virtual Event

Although the Bar Convention will no longer be meeting in-person, we still want to connect with you! We are "concocting" a fun virtual event to wet your palette with some Lowcountry-inspired flavors.
Stay tuned for more details.

 Make a donation today!