Guardian ad Litem volunteers and staff in NC Courts 23rd Judicial District, with the support of our communities, collected 1,800 jars of peanut butter and jelly for local food banks as part of the National Day of Service. Which is more than 3,500 lbs. of food.
GAL volunteers in Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes and Yadkin County advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care.
All the food collected in each county went to food banks serving that county; Solid Rock Food Closet in Alleghany, The Sharing Center in Ashe, Samaritan’s Kitchen of Wilkes and Christian Ministries in Yadkin.
Among the agencies and businesses who supported the PB&J Campaign were A Child’s Life Daycare in Wilkes, Alleghany Wellness Center, Ashe County Courthouse, Brushy Mountain Smokehouse & Creamery, Carolina Reality, Central Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, Cub Scout Pack 277 of Sparta, David’s Car Care, Double Trouble Learning Center, Hibco Plastics, First Baptist Church of Sparta, Infusion Points, Kiwanis Club of Wilkesboro, Miller’s Creek Daycare, Mt. Carmel Church of the Brethren, Mountain View Baptist Church in Hays, New Haven Church of the Brethren in Alleghany, North Wilkesboro Rotary Club, North Wilkesboro Town Hall, Senior Center of North Wilkesboro, Shady Grove Baptist Church in Wilkesboro, St. Mary’s/Holy Trinity Episcopal Churches in Ashe County, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilkesboro, Tilley’s Auto, Classic Toyota Dealership of North Wilkesboro, Wilkes Community Partnership for Children, Wilkes County Board of Education, Wilkesboro Baptist Church Preschool, Wilkesboro Town Hall, Wilkes County Courthouse, Wilkes County Public Library, Wilkes Tire and Auto, and Yadkin County Courthouse.
GAL extended its gratitude to all the individuals, agencies and locations that participated in the collection campaign, which was a huge success.
Guardians ad Litem are not “guardians” in the traditional sense, explains local district administrator Tamara Lakey. They are community volunteers who are trained as child advocates for abused and neglected children. The child advocates work together with attorneys to champion children’s needs in court. The child advocates promote a safe and permanent home for children.
All child advocates complete a required six-week pre-service training course along with court observation prior to their becoming an official sworn-in GAL Volunteer. These child advocates are appointed by the judge along with GAL staff and attorney advocates. The child advocates visit with the children monthly to check to see if the child is happy, healthy, and safe.
The child advocates also monitor the case status by having regular contact with collaterals, to keep the children from lingering indefinitely in foster care. The child advocate makes reports to the court regarding the child’s status, wishes, and best interest to help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s current and future needs and permanence.
There are still more than 75 children in our district who do not have a GAL Volunteer to be an advocate for their best interest. Guardian ad Litem training is going on now.
Another class is set to begin in April.
Please visit www.volunteerforgal.org for information and apply online.
To speak with someone locally contact one of the district offices in Alleghany or Ashe at (336) 219-1421 and Wilkes at (336) 651-4421. Inquiries can also be made via email at GAL.District23@nccourts.org.
Applications must be submitted in March to be considered for the upcoming April classes.
Keep up with the latest information about the District GAL Program by liking and following the district Facebook Page at NC Guardian ad Litem — District 23.