Guardian ad Litem

So many have asked, “How can you work with children – it’s just too sad and depressing.”

I ask you, “How can you not? If not for us – then who?”

Jesus said the children will inherit the Kingdom of God. I pray that I will be holding or have held a child’s hand when they meet God. If I can make a difference in only one child’s life, I will have made a profound difference in my life. I can’t save the world by myself, but I can with God’s grace make a difference in one child’s life. I receive more from these children than I could possibly offer them.

They give me faith that good can overcome evil, that one can become a survivor – not a victim: that love survives all evil: and that a child’s innocence allows them to imagine a world of peace and love.

That is my passion as a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer. There is no special education or skills required to be a volunteer. The only requirement is a desire or passion to make a difference. In New Hanover County and Pender County, the local program in District 5:

...is serving 424 children

...with 152 volunteers

...36 new children entered the GAL roster in September alone

As a Guardian Ad Litem, volunteers develop a relationship with their child and ensure that the children are in a safe and loving environment, while receiving the required therapy and/or medical care, education and any other recommendations the Judge has made. The Guardian Ad Litem is a child’s voice in court and speaks on their behalf.

A Guardian Ad Litem respects a child’s inherent right to grow up with dignity in a safe environment that meets that child’s best interest.

As a volunteer, it requires approximately 8 – 12 hours a month, or in a 30 day month about 1% of your time. How or where else can you give so little to get so much?

NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin closed a recent speech with, “What you (Guardians) all do to protect the helpless has immeasurable value to our court system. It is so important and meaningful.”

If you are interested and would like more information, please call : Lee Olson, 910-251-5755 for more information. You may also email her : lee.c.olson@nccourts.org

Why be a Guardian? Because we make a difference – one child at a time.

God’s grace and peace to you all, Pam Santiago

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