December 13, 2007

Legal clinic brightens holidays for local family

by Pete Rosenbery

clinic gifts

Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University School of Law legal clinic is again working together to make the holiday season brighter for a local family.

Using a referral from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, clinic attorneys and staff purchased numerous presents for a local family that includes four children and their mother. The gifts lined the clinic's office Wednesday waiting to be delivered later in the week.

Heidi E. Ramos, a law school staff attorney and project coordinator of the law school's Self Help Legal Center of Southern Illinois, said employees definitely got into the holiday spirit A staff member at the law school also donated a gift, she said.

"We like to help," Ramos said. "Rather than giving gifts to each other, we give to people who are more needy."

Ramos notes the children's requests were far from the usual fare of exciting toys and games — more along the lines of clothes and even bedding.

"We are just happy we can help," she said. "That is what the clinic is set up for — to help people."


A gathering of gifts — Faculty and staff in the SIU School of Law's Self Help Legal Center of Southern Illinois gather around approximately 50 presents that clinic personnel donated and wrapped for the holiday season. The gifts are being donated to an area family that includes four children. Surrounded by the gifts are: (from left) office assistant III Sue C. Cavins; staff attorney and project coordinator Heidi E. Ramos; second-year law students and legal clinic student employees Chad M. Miller and Kayce R. Powell; program administrative assistant Susan J. Moberly; and student employee Alex N. Gholson, a sophomore in the College of Education and Human Services.

- Photo by Jeff Garner