3 steps to community-building in Whatcom County with MyTrafficMan
With a special focus on libraries, literacy and access to justice, October is all about community leadership in legal care for Ziad Youssef and his MyTrafficMan team.
Throughout the year, the company collaborates with Whatcom County’s Literacy Council, Library Foundation and LAW Advocates, raising both awareness and funds for the three vital organizations.
Slow Down & Read
Received a traffic ticket? They have an app for that!
Through the program, the company donates all proceeds from traffic infractions processed through its mytrafficman.net/app site to the Whatcom County Library Foundation, which works with Friends of the Library groups to maintain library services for a diverse population, including innovative programs and an annual grant to fund above-baseline initiatives and capital improvement projects.
To date, Slow Down & Read has generated more than $25,000 for the foundation, supporting initiatives like Books for Babies, the juvenile detention library and access to rural libraries with internet and other necessary resources.
“Slow Down and Read not only raises significant funds for the foundation, but also awareness of the importance of keeping libraries strong and vibrant. We are so thankful for Ziad’s vision and generosity,” says Jennifer Rick, Whatcom County Library Foundation Development Director.
Through sponsorship of Whatcom Literacy Council’s major fundraisers, MyTrafficMan supports the council’s volunteers and provides training that helps residents learn basic skills needed for tasks like completing job applications and reading prescriptions or bus schedules.
“Ziad is a huge supporter of our adult literacy programs. As such he has sponsored our big events – the Trivia Bee in the spring and our Literacy Breakfast with Nancy Pearl in the fall – knowing that the sponsorship dollars go directly to adult literacy services for our neighbors here in Whatcom County,” says Katherine Freimund, Executive Director, Whatcom Literacy Council. Having a well-recognized business involved also lends credibility to programs, Freimund says, commending Youssef for going beyond a simple donation.
“When he says he supports our organization he does more than write a check – he meets with me regularly to stay informed about what we are doing, and he is an ambassador for our work, speaking up and advocating for us whenever possible,” she says.
Recognizing the importance of access to justice, Youssef sits on the board of the LAW Advocates and supports the organization’s work at various fundraising events.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, nonprofit LAW Advocates provides free civil legal assistance to low-income Whatcom County residents, explains Michael Heatherly, Executive Director, LAW Advocates.
“We support increased access to justice for low-income residents through programs like Access ID that helps residents get basic identification required to apply for health insurance, jobs and other benefits,” Youssef says. “We also support the great work of programs like Street Law, and the Tenant Clinic.”
Beyond the board of directors, Youssef also chairs its Community Awareness Committee.
“Like us, Ziad is interested in improving access to legal services for everyone through means including better use of technology and communication. This helps clients of nonprofits such as ours as well as those of conventional law firms, which also can reach more people by improving cost effectiveness and client-convenience,” Heatherly says.
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