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Guardian ad Litem Foundation receives two grants through United Way of Charlotte County

United Way of Charlotte County has directed a pair of grants to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, to support programs serving children and teens who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

United Way of Charlotte County provided $18,000 for the foundation’s Children’s Needs Program, which funds “extras” like birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets and registration fees for clubs and sports. Funds also support Beds for Kids, a program that provides bed frames, mattresses, pillows, linens and stuffed animals so caregivers can provide a safe, comfortable home for children. 

Additionally, United Way of Charlotte County provided $15,000 for the Growing Guardians Program, which makes funding available to recruit, train and support volunteer child advocates in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and surrounding communities. 

United Way of Charlotte County provided the grants on behalf of the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners. 

“As a grass-roots organization, we rely on generous individuals and organizations like United Way to help serve the community,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “Our needs continue to grow in Charlotte County, and these grants will help ensure that children have access to essentials while they’re in foster care or temporary homes, and also ensure they will have someone advocating on their behalf as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems.” 

Over the past 12 months, the foundation’s court-appointed volunteer child advocates made 184 requests through the Children’s Needs Programs for youth in Charlotte County. 

United Way of Charlotte County mobilizes the power of our community to break the cycle of poverty by bringing together local agencies, corporations, donors, volunteers and government to create lasting social change. The organization strategically invests in, partners with and mobilizes local community partners to solve the most complex social issues. 

“United Way of Charlotte County focuses its funding on areas where we can have the greatest impact, and what greater place to start than our children,” said Angie Matthiessen, executive director of United Way of Charlotte County. “We know the impact that one caring adult can have on a child who has experienced trauma, and we fully support the Guardian ad Litem’s volunteer child advocate work in Charlotte County.” 

For more information about Children’s Needs or Growing Guardians, please call 239-533-1435 or email JStanfield@GALFoundation20.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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