What child doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? For most of us it stirs up memories of happy childhoods. The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program of Stokes County is giving our communities the opportunity to help create those fond memories for children who might not have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as part of their lives.
From January 2 through January 18, 2018 the Stokes GAL program will be collecting plastic jars/containers of peanut butter and jelly to give to local food banks. You can drop off your donations at the King, Danbury, or Walnut Cove Libraries, Stokes Partnership for Children (King), and Castle’s Deli (King). These donations will then be taken directly to a local food bank to be distributed to families in need in Stokes County.
These efforts are part of a statewide campaign to address childhood food issues by the 44 districts of the Guardian ad Litem program, during a particularly difficult time of year. After the Christmas season opportunities for addressing needs for children are less. This is a chance to continue addressing those needs.
The Guardian ad Litem program is a division of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. Put into place in 1983 by the North Carolina legislature, it is a volunteer based program to give a voice to children, whose families have become involved with the Department of Social Services due to issues of abuse, neglect, and dependency. Our mission is to train advocates to represent and promote the best interests of these children in the state court system and to work expediently toward a plan that ensures these children are in a safe and permanent home.
Currently there are 103 children being advocated for by Guardians ad Litem in Stokes County. But there are 31 children who don’t have a volunteer advocate to be their voice, to be sure that the court system understands the children’s needs. There is a constant need for volunteers to get to know these children and promote their best interests.
A Guardian ad Litem training class will begin on January 9 and run for six sessions on Tuesday nights from 4 – 7 p.m. at The Pilot Center in Pilot Mountain. It takes no special skills to be a Guardian ad Litem, just a love for children and the desire for our community to be stronger by helping children have safety and permanence. To learn more about the program go to: www.volunteerforgal.org