The Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Foundation is delighted that New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof has spotlighted the need for volunteer child advocates in his annual “holiday gift guide” column.
Since 2009, Kristof has written the “gift guide” to bridge the gap between readers who want to help and the organizations that need resources but aren’t on donors’ radar. This year he wrote about the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)/GAL Association for Children), advising that there is a nationwide need for volunteer child advocates.
The Foundation provides advocacy and awareness to the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, which represents abused, abandoned and neglected children in dependency court. Foundation CEO Sonia Valladares called the high-profile mention “a tremendous honor” and said she hopes it will bring Guardian ad Litem an increase in volunteer inquiries.
“Volunteers provide support and advocacy for children who sometimes have no one else to trust, while helping them navigate the bureaucracy,” Kristof wrote. “As a Guardian ad Litem, you have the power to help give children a voice,” Valladares said.
The Foundation also encourages supporters to think of dependent children this holiday season. “The most valuable gift you can give is your time,” said Foundation President Lori Duarte-Roberts. “But if volunteering isn’t an option, a financial contribution is a great way to help the children.”
More than 10,000 Floridians volunteer as Guardians ad Litem, working with program attorneys and social workers in teams to represent abused and neglected children in court and advocate for their best interests. To learn more about how you can impact a child’s life and support the Guardian ad Litem mission, please call 1-850-922-7213 or visit www.flgal.org.