There's no time like the present to get involved with the Guardian ad Litem program and speak up on behalf of an abused or neglected child. Guardians ad Litem are volunteers who stand up for the rights of children who find themselves shuffling through the child welfare system. And in Hillsborough County, hundreds of children are waiting for their voice to be heard. These are the children you hear about from time to time in the news - children whose parents have allegedly beaten, abandoned and subjected them to pain no human should suffer.
This year, resolve to join the more than 430 (based on December, 2008 data) proud GAL volunteers in Hillsborough County who know what it's like to protect a child's best interests. GAL volunteers help make sure children don't slip through the cracks of an overburdened child welfare system. GAL volunteers come from all walks of life. They're real estate agents, teachers, retirees - all good people who decided they weren't going to just sit back and idly complain about the problems with "the system."
They're people who decided it was time to step forward and help the children who have no one else to count on. They're people who wanted to see the faces of children in need. They resolved to stop letting kids become just another statistic, just another tragedy. They resolved to improve a child's life and, in doing so, discovered they had also improved their own.
After all, you can't measure the intangible sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that you've made a child's life safer. Or the sheer giddiness of helping a child find adoptive, loving parents. Or the fulfillment of teaching a child to learn to trust an adult and believe in someone again. Those are rewards that have no quantity, only quality.
You can help children who've suffered at the hands of those who are supposed to love and care for them.