The Yadkin County Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program is winding up its peanut butter and jelly drive, with all donations going to Yadkin Christian Ministries to feed needy local families.
Jars of peanut butter and jelly may be brought to the GAL office in the Yadkin County Courthouse or left with the deputy at the front door now through Jan. 19. The collection is in recognition of the National Day of Service Jan. 20.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care, so peanut butter and jelly — a childhood favorite, is the focus of the drive statewide. Partners in the local drive have included Yadkin Rotary, the Yadkin County Clerk of Court, Hibco, and Mountainview Baptist Church.
Guardians ad Litem are not “guardians” in the traditional sense, explained local program supervisor Cathy Davidson. They are appointed by the judge to get to know the children, look into their situation and options, and report to the court the children’s desires and best interests.
Most importantly, they visit the children monthly to make sure they remain happy, healthy and safe in foster care. The GAL’s reports help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s future.
Yadkin County’s GAL program served about 40 children, 39 percent of whom do not have their own GAL. More volunteers are badly needed so that every child can have an advocate, noted Davidson.
The next Guardian ad Litem volunteers five-week training starts with orientation Feb. 20 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Wilkesboro, but a Saturday morning class in Yadkinville could be scheduled if five or more new volunteers sign up. For more information or to apply to become a volunteer with the Guardian Ad Litem program, call Davidson at 336-937-2623 or visit www.volunteerforgal.org.