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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration, Legal Services, Minority Rights

Mission: TO DEFEND AND PROMOTE THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF THE LATIN AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND FACILIATE ITS ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION, AND ADVANCE CROSS-CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING IN OUR REGION.

Target demographics: LATIN AMERICAN LOW INCOME IMMIGRANT FAMILIES

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000+

Geographic areas served: Mercer County area, New Jersey

Programs: The Mercer County Area Community ID Card; Health Care Outreach (Puerta de Salud); Youth mentoring program (FUTURO); Citizenship and legal clinics; Tax return preparation services, JobsMercer workforce development a job placement.

Community Stories

70 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Paloma M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A very professional staff dedicated to improve the life of many immigrants in Trenton. They offer a variety of services that make a real impact.

Kirsty S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I need help please I have a friend who's been here for 20 years and is not legal all the way, please call me 3479288238. He is Spanish

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a VITA tax preparer (bi-lingual) this past winter, and will be working as an ESL volunteer this fall. The organization is critical for the Hispanic working poor, student, and homemaker. The functions that Laldef provides: free tax preparation, English classes, job training, etc. are important services to allow people a way to assimilate successfully into US society.

Laura312

Client Served

Rating: 5

As I know LALDEF help many people as it does with me. Before a started to work for this organization the treatment and professionalism the people that are working there was excellent. I found help and care with may tax return as suggested how to manage the information for the next year.
As a worker I experienced all needs in our community: help in education, immigration, laws, school's registration, work, etc.... Laldef always has a hand to help, even we are tide in time and worker's. Thanks to this organization to gave the opportunity to service our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF is a fantastic organization that carefully listens to and understands the needs of its beneficiaries and does everything possible to serve them effectively and efficiently, with no wasted resources or staff time. LALDEF's work is so compelling that an entire community has developed around its programs. I would recommend this organization to anyone in need of legal, educational, and social programming designed for Latin American community members! And they treat their volunteers extremely well. I've been volunteering with them as an ESL teacher for about 10 months as well as making county ID cards for about 5 months and I'm continually inspired to keep working with them.

Bradford S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at this organization! The people with whom I work are professional, friendly, and dedicated to providing excellent service to the clientele. The patrons who come through for IDs are visibly satisfied when they leave. Proud of my role with LALDEF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an honor serving as a volunteer at LALDEF earlier this year. I was extremely impressed with the dedication and work ethic of the staff in serving the needs of the Latin American community. It inspired me to re-energize my study of the Spanish language so that I can better help the clients at this great organization.

1 Ana_33

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Muchas gracias LALDEF por estar aquí por la comunidad. Hemos sido ayudados a la vez que hemos colaborado con esta loable organización y puedo constatar de la responsabilidad, seriedad y el cariño con el que se dedican a la comunidad inmigrante o no. Constantemente estoy enviando personas con distintas necesidades a LALDEF.

Alba A.

Former staff

Rating: 5

Organizacion muy bien reconocida, con altos estandares de atencion hacia la comunidad, brinda el apoyo apropiado, a traves de sus representantes y colaboradores, quienes cuentan con el liderazgo y experiencia para Generar la confianza Del cliente y satisfaccion del servicio.

Mayra4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF has helped this community in many ways. From helping high school students to providing career development workshops. LALDEF takes pride in the wonderful work they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing Organization ! One of the helpful programs that they have is FUTURO that helps high school students with their future. Has help me a lot in so many ways . But that is not the only programs & events they have for the community. There are so much other great things as well .

Former staff

Rating: 5

LALDEF is a phenomenal organization. I began as a volunteer, and was thrilled to be able to join the staff. They are mission driven, and fully focused on serving people who need help the most. They listen to the needs of their clients, trying new programs and connecting with other NGOs in the community to bring a full array of services. Ive never encountered someone who had less than an all around wonderful experience with LALDEF, and I couldnt recommend them any more.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF was a fantastic, free resource for tax preparation in the Trenton Latino community. My time working with them was very rewarding due to the dedicated leadership of Maria and the tangible impact we were having in saving money for our clients. These local families came to LALDEF en mass because they knew we are a free, reliable resource for quality tax preparation. Without a doubt I'll be returning next year to volunteer!

Patrick69

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LALDEF's English classes are highly personalized and well-directed. They really target allowing the students to be able to use language in their daily life, and provide a safe environment within which to practice speaking and learning. The English classes provide a springboard for students to become more familiar with the organization's other services, which are numerous: student mentoring, immigration assistance, tax preparation, and job and professional development opportunities. There is no organization that I have encountered that is as personal and as deeply committed as LALDEF.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF is an amazing organization that I feel grateful to have been a part of. Their staff is dedicated, hard-working, and incredibly welcoming. Their work makes a big difference in the local community. Of all the volunteer experiences I have participated in, teaching ESL at LALDEF was one of the most rewarding experiences. I learned a lot and developed amazing relationships with my students. I 100% recommend this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with LALDEF has been such a positive one! I have been mentored by the FUTURO Mentoring Program that is from LALDEF through out my junior and senior year of high school. That in itself is enough to give LALDEF an A++. I have seen the way LALDEF volunteers have helped immensely in the community of Trenton. From ESL classes I have sat in, to legal help regarding immigration that I have volunteered with, LALDEF covers a large platform of various areas of concentration to help those who need it. I have also volunteered in the tax season-long initiative to do people's taxes, free of charge. I am amazed at how many people have benefited from the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and will proudly continue to volunteer for this wonderful non-profit so the community of Trenton can keep benefiting from it's services, and better itself.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF is a non- profit organization that has changed the lives of many families. When a person arrives to our offices she/he feels the welcoming of our house. families can trust in us. We can help them to obtain an ID ( it means given them an identity) or offering English or computer classes it means helping these families to have a better communication between them. Laldef has impact the lives of many people changing their views from a negative vision to a positive one full of hope and faith. Lets support LALDEF !!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked on LALDEF's ESL and ID card initiatives and I continue to be amazed at how much they mean to the recipients. LALDEF does so much with limited financial resources and a very minimum staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer before to help do the identification cards for people in Princeton and Trenton. It was great working with the staff of LALDEF. They make sure to help out others in ay inquiries they have. I also got my taxes done once at them and they were great also! They made sure I understood everything I was being asked and everything I was signing.

-Mari

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with LALDEF's free tax assistance program, am a donor, and have greatly benefited from LALDEF's expertise in my role as Chair of the Princeton Human Services Immigration Subcommittee.

Maria Juega, LALDEF's Executive Director, took time from her impossible schedule to help Princeton Human Services and the Princeton Police Department develop a much more immigrant friendly protocol for local police interactions with the federal ICE agency. It states that the police job is public safety, not as an arm of federal deportations. This has greatly strengthened community trust in our police.

In addition, Ms Juega helped Human Services and the police develop a process and intake form for cases of alleged wage theft. This has helped us recover thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for low income workers. Bravo LALDEF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a tutor in LALDEF's English classes for adults, I have witnessed first hand the incredible and increasingly critical work that the organization is doing. With a rapidly growing Latino community in the Trenton area, coupled with an economy that favors skilled labor over non-skilled labor, learning English is one of the most effective ways Spanish speaking adults can bolster the financial situation of their families.

The English classes are but a small portion of the work that LALDEF is doing, and the guidance that LALDEF provides to their clients helps them navigate a seemingly indecipherable series of laws, regulations, and requirements related to citizenship and naturalization.

The staff is amazing and fully dedicated to the organization's mission. I wish more people knew about and supported LALDEF!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization that helps the community at large.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

LALDEF is making a difference in the community by helping immigrants better assimulate and advance themselves in education, health, work and civic participation. This organization succeeds because of the strong group of volunteers and dedicated leaders who give tirelessly and with pride. I like how they are inviting of the non Latinos in the community and try hard to create a common bond.

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Jesselly D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Few words could do justice in describing the positive impact that LALDEF provides has on local community. LALDEF is place where people come to be empowered to overcome the barriers of living in an underserved and, often, marginalized communities. As one of their first paid staff, I learned first hand of stories from people that left a profound impact on my naive understanding of the immigrant community. From helping clients advocate for themselves against abusive labor practices, helping persons prepare for their citizenship exams, learn English and computer skills to facilitating support for families who had lost loved ones in traumatic immigration raids, LALDEF is an organization that provides services based on the community's needs - a real representation of grassroots work.

Isabel5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LALDEF was at the forefront of the community ID card effort, which demonstrates its commitment to inclusion and an open system so immigrants don't have to hide in the shadows. Their programs are designed to help clients achieve self-sufficiency so that their contributions to our communities can be strengthened.

Joanne35

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recently NY city adopted a municipal identification card to residents regardless of their immigration status. Guess what LADLEF began a similar program at least 3 years ago. This is why I believe in LADLEF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF is a great organization. I have been a witness to their effort in making this community a better place. Their dedication and commitment is definitely inspiring. I am a volunteer and have also benefited from their services.

Donor

Rating: 5

LALDEF fills in a much needed gap in Mercer County. The leardeship team is top notch and results, such as the identification cards, palpable and impactful

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of LALDEF for over two and a half years with the different programs and initiatives that LALDEF has are truly geared to help the Trenton community. It is a very rewarding experience to be part of an organization that dedicates itself to providing adult education classes, immigration services and workshops, health and well-being family events, community photo-ID, tax return preparation, among other programs that truly help residents of Trenton. Those who are served by LALDEF are genuinely grateful for the services provided.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a volunteer ESL teacher, I encounter many individuals and families who need help. LALDEF acts as a liaison between legal experts and immigrant families. The organization organized and implemented a program for members of the community, both documented and undocumented, to acquire a community ID card which is helpful at doctors' offices and in case of emergencies. Throughout the year, LALDEF sends an e-letter to keep the community informed concerning upcoming legislation, educational opportunities and health care assistance. LALDEF is a wonderful non-profit whose members work tirelessly to promote social justice.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund provides information and advocacy for families dealing with the problems of our broken immigration system and also provides advice to other social justice groups who are advocating for immigrants. LALDEF sponsors educational opportunities for the public such as movies, panels and round-table discussions. LALDEF also provides and promotes the use of community ID cards which have been endorsed by the Mercer County Sheriff and Prosecutor's Office. The cards have given helpful information for first responders, health care providers and public libraries and have helped immigrants become an integral part of their communities.

Angelin C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Laldelf has made a significant impact in the inner city of Trenton helping the impoverished people in every way possible.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I run a parent support group for Latino parents in our community. LALDEF, and specifically Maria Juega, has come to speak at our meetings. Additionally, she sends me vital information relevant to the parents I work with on a very regular basis. I share this information t each of my meetings, and the parents have told me repeatedly that they have benefitted from the services and information, such as health, IDs, education, etc..

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer to serve the steady stream of clients who need photo ID cards which carry emergency information and establish their residency so they can access services that they qualify for. This work helps me know and understand the immigrant community in my home city. The clients are treated with respect, and I enjoy their gratitude. It is a well organized program making a significant contribution to our community.

Raquel2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF, LALDEF, LALDEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LALDEF is a honest and honorable non-profit organization, 100% dedicated to our Latino Community and others. Always doing the extra mile in order accomplish all their goals. LALDEF has been a huge blessing to Trenton and Mercer County, it has done a lot of projects that benefits our community. They were able to developed a Mercer Community ID regardless of the individual's immigration status. We need to support LALDEF as much as possible!!! Please keep helping LALDEF!!!!!!!! Keep up the GREAT JOB!! BLESSINGS!! DINA

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF does amazing work for the community! I helped with a health fair in Trenton in 2011 and couldn't believe how well-organized it was and all the resources that LALDEF provides, both itself and through community partners. LALDEF is providing many important services to immigrants in Central New Jersey.

Marino Posso

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LALDEF is the best non for profit organization that I've been volunteering for. The programs are really community oriented specially for those in great need: minorities, poor, homeless and forgotten from the government agencies. The Health fair events, the community ID cards are just two of the good programs that help the most to the community. mposso

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is one of the most respected and outstanding non for profit organization not just state but federal level. I've been helping as a volunteer with the ID community program and the results for the users and the community are amazing. LALDEF also has been the "umbrella" for several community and civic associations.
All the best for you "Charo" and LALDEF's staff.
Marino Posso