Pastor Edwin Williams, Jr. partnered with Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities (LATLC) for more than three years and helped to create their largest community event—the Annual Holiday Turkey and Toy Giveaway.
Sadly, Pastor Williams had a stroke earlier this year. After months in the hospital and in rehab, he was finally ready to come home. His wife paid a contractor more than $15,000 to prepare the house—ramps, kitchen and bathroom ADA compliant, and more. However, this did not happen. The contractor lied about his license; he left the home in disarray; workers were not paid; and he vanished without completing the work.
LATLC President and American Association for Justice member Gerald Marcus happened to be watching Channel 2 news on June 28, 2019, and saw a woman wearing an LATLC t-shirt. It wasn’t until half-way through the story that he realized it was Pastor Williams and his wife who had been defrauded!
LATLC wanted to help the Pastor—just as he has helped his community for more than a decade as pastor of the New Prospect Baptist Church. However, non-profit regulations prevented LATLC from directly donating funds. A plan was needed!
LATLC created a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/pastor-williams) and opened a separate bank account to pay the bills. By Fri., July 12, $21,100 was raised! Gerald Marcus vetted contractors and hired KOM Contractors, whom he knew personally, and who wanted to do work at cost only. Channel 2 (2 on Your Side’s Kristine Lazar) was contacted and a second news story appeared July 10 to report on this wonderful turn of events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQZZXy4LBlY&t=52s.
Construction work was completed by Monday, July 22; and Pastor Williams was able to return home to his newly remodeled home. Channel 2 aired a third news story showing an emotional Pastor Williams seeing his remodeled home for the first time, on July 25: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRchdLluxG8&t=16s.