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Guardian ad Litem Foundation moves to new location in Fort Myers

The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, has moved to a new location in Fort Myers that offers additional space for meetings, community events and storage.

Located at 11691 Gateway Blvd., Suite 102, inside Sanibel Captiva Community Bank’s Gateway branch, the nearly 1,000-square-foot space is significantly larger than the nonprofit’s former office in the Lee County Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers. Multipurpose spaces can be used for tutoring sessions, SAT and ACT prep classes, supervised visits, board meetings, art therapy sessions, small community gatherings and more.

“Our former office provided adequate office space, but our organization has grown significantly in the last four years, both in terms of size and scope of services,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “We are fortunate that Sanibel Captiva Community Bank had this property available and are thankful to our supporters who helped purchase desks, tables, beanbag chairs and other kid-friendly features to make this a comfortable place for children and teens.”

The new space also accommodates a Lee County location for Hoagland’s Happy Stories Collection, a literacy outreach program named for longtime advocates Richard and Mary Ellen Hoagland that provides books to children in the foster care system.

The foundation manages programs that support children, adolescents and teens who have been abused, neglected or abandoned as they navigate the judicial and child welfare systems. Its Children’s Needs Program allows volunteer child advocates to request funds for expenses that foster parents and caregivers are unable to afford and other agencies do not provide, including birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets and registration fees for clubs and sports. The foundation also assists with emergency needs, including beds, bedding, clothing and car seats.

“We’ve been living out of multiple storage units around Southwest Florida, so our new Comfort Closet will allow us to quickly respond to requests for linens, stuffed animals and other items needed on an emergency basis,” Stanfield said.

A ribbon cutting is planned for later this fall.

For more information, please call 239-533-1435 or visit VoicesForKids.org.

About the Guardian ad Litem Foundation

The 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 provides 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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