On Thursday, June 15, 2017, the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program was featured on an episode of Perspectives, a call-in radio program on 88.9 WFSU-FM.
Hosted by Tom Flanigan, the episode highlights our program and mission while featuring commentary from Volunteer Recruiter Sara Blumenthal and program volunteer Larry Carmichael.
Thank you to WFSU-FM for sharing our program with their listeners.
An article about our program recently appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. We are fortunate to have this article published to help us raise awareness of and support for our program.
The article is reproduced below. Thank you to the Tallahassee Democrat for sharing our program with their readers.
Guardian ad Litem seeks volunteers
by Ellen Piekalkiewicz
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Retirement. It is a goal most of us look forward to, to a time when we no longer have to do what we must but can do what we want. Those achieving that goal find themselves with something new — free time.
A good way to fill this free time is to start a new adventure and get involved in your community. Throughout our community, there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities where retirees can make their time meaningful.
One of the best opportunities is volunteering with the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program.
The GAL Program is a volunteer based organization that changes the lives of abused and neglected children by ensuring their interests are heard and served in the court and community. Through the volunteer's advocacy, a child is able to find a safe and permanent home as soon as possible.
"Our volunteers make an impact daily through their advocacy," said 2nd Judicial Circuit GAL Program Circuit Director Deborah Moore. "Retired volunteers are valued in our program as they bring a wealth of work, life and volunteer experience."
Many retirees choose to join this program because they recognize the need and they can see the difference the program makes in the lives of these children and their families. Sometimes all it takes is that one person being there and caring to change the direction of a life.
Retirees, regardless of what career they may have had, can use their knowledge and life experience to help guide a child and family to a better future.
"What better use of my time then helping a child and family in need," said retired educator Larry Carmichael. "It has revitalized me and is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had."
The Guardian ad Litem adventure includes creating a relationship with a child and showing them someone cares, showing them there is someone they can trust and depend on. It is being there to advocate for them in courtroom, ensuring that they are heard. It is advocating for them in classroom and community, the same way many us of advocate for our own children.
"Just because I'm retired doesn't mean I'm done making a difference," said retiree Lynda Giordano. "I have seen and experienced life and I am grateful I can use that to help a youth in need."
To those looking for a way to make their time meaningful, to share your knowledge, consider being a voice for an abused and neglected child. The Guardian ad Litem program stands tall in the corner of every child who has suffered abuse or neglect.
Information for this article was provided by Sara Blumenthal, Volunteer Recruiter, Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.
For more information, please visit their website www.gal2.org