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Donations ‘snowball’ to create Fund-a-Need match for Guardian ad Litem Foundation’s Voices of Hope Gala

Generous supporters have teamed up to provide a $10,000 match for Fund-a-Need donations collected during the Voices of Hope Gala, a Nov. 12 virtual fundraising event for Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit.

“As a small nonprofit, the Guardian ad Litem Foundation relies on loyal, generous individuals and businesses to help support our programs and services,” said Jessica Stanfield, the Foundation’s executive director. “Because of COVID-19, we had to postpone the gala last spring and cancel multiple fundraisers, but the organization continued to help abused, neglected and abandoned children in Southwest Florida.”

The matching grant began when Charlotte County resident Robert Ives offered a memorial gift to honor his late wife, Rhoda Ives, a teacher who dedicated her career to educating children and young adults.

“From there, the support just snowballed,” Stanfield said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office then provided a donation from forfeiture funds. Finally, two Foundation board members, Bruce L. Greenberg and Gary L. Lederer, and their wives Kathy Greenberg and Jean Lederer, contributed donations so the matching grant would be an even $10,000.

The Voices of Hope Gala is a virtual fundraising event scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. In addition to a live auction, special prizes and inspirational stories, the gala features a Fund-a-Need appeal to raise money that will allow volunteer child advocates to continue supporting and protecting Southwest Florida children despite challenges caused by COVID-19.

“The Fund-a-Need appeal and proceeds raised at the Voices of Hope Gala will help ensure that the most vulnerable children in our community will continue to be supported, protected and heard,” Stanfield said. “COVID-19 impacted all of our lives and nonprofits across the region, but it cannot stop our community from doing good.”

The Fund-a-Need match comes just months after an anonymous supporter pledged to match all donations collected through the Foundation’s “Double My Impact” campaign, helping to raise $36,391. In addition to volunteer training programs, the Foundation also provides financial assistance to help meet a child’s basic and developmental needs, which include paying for new beds, school supplies, tutoring services, clothing, birthday parties, movie tickets, participation in sports and more.

For more information about the Voices of Hope Gala, including tickets and instructions on accessing the livestream link, please visit VoicesForKids.org/event/Voices-of-Hope  or call 239-533-1435.

About Guardian ad Litem Foundation

Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, was established in 1984 and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports Guardian ad Litem programs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation, a United Way Partner Agency, has a mission of ensuring that every abused, neglected or abandoned youth in Southwest Florida has a voice as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare system. The Foundation raises funds that help meet a child’s health, educational and social needs, as well as provide support for highly trained volunteer advocates who represent the best interests of a child until a safe, permanent placement is established. For additional information, visit VoicesForKids.org or call 239-533-1435.

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