Java for Justice benefit events set for Feb. 22-24

Java for Justice, a joint effort between Pisgah Legal, the Van Winkle law firm, the Asheville Radio Group, and area coffee shops to raise funds for the legal aid nonprofit, begins today and lasts through Feb. 24, with Feb. 22 featuring a day of events.

“We were trying to raise our awareness in the community and build some new partnerships, so we based this on the Dine Out for Life idea,” Katie Russell Miller, the community relations manager for Pisgah Legal, tells Xpress. “We’ve been brewing it, so to speak, for the last few years.”

Van Winkle helped organize the event and secured the involvement of the Asheville Radio Group.

The five businesses — the downtown City Bakery location, Bruegger’s on Merrimon Avenue, Mosaic Cafe in Biltmore Town Square, West End Bakery on Haywood Road and the French Broad Chocolate Lounge — will accept donations and have information on Pisgah Legal’s efforts to help low-income people with needed legal services.

On Feb. 22, both 96.5 Mix and 98.1 the River will broadcast live from the participating shops. Pisgah Legal ambassadors will be on hand from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all the coffee shops as well.

With the economic downturn, Miller says, Pisgah Legal is hit from two sides: more people than ever need the non-profit’s services, but funds have declined.

“The last few years have been tough for people in our area and tough for non-profits,” she says. “The number of people calling us is increasing, their problems are more urgent and complex. Looking at 2012, our budget is tight. What we see on the ground is people still needing a lot of help.”

As part of our Big Ideas issue in January, Pisgah Legal shared their big ideas with us. Read that here.

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