Many of us are fortunate to have the support of family and friends as we face the day to day challenges life sometimes present. But there are others in our community who face adversity alone.
Did you know in our 10th Judicial Circuit, which includes Polk, Highlands, and Hardee counties, there is an estimated 1700-1800 children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected? They are facing some of the hardest days of their lives. But they don’t have to. We can stand up for them. We can become their voice as a Guardian ad Litem.
Currently, there are approximately 500 advocate volunteers who are standing up for some hundreds of children who need a caring, responsible adult in their lives. But each of those children deserves to have their own advocate. Each one deserves a voice.
The Guardian ad Litem, or GAL, program is seeking volunteers to be the voice for a child. Volunteers give approximately seven to eight hours of their time a month. But the differences made in those eight hours may stay with the child for the rest of child’s life.
Advocates are the child’s voice in court hearings and proceedings standing on behalf of the child during the most critical and life-transforming moments a child can experience. The difference you will make will change a life forever.
GAL volunteers receive classroom training which prepares each advocate to be the voice of a child. I ask that you consider sharing this information with your friends and family.
To become a volunteer, or receive more information on becoming a Guardian ad Litem Advocate, please contact the GAL office at 863.534.4605. It would be a great Christmas gift for a child in need.