GAL Volunteer out of the South Santa Rosa Office
That feeling that comes from helping others, freely giving your time, talent, and energy to a purpose greater than yourself, is powerful. Janet’s desire to volunteer started prior to becoming a Guardian ad Litem. Ten years prior to moving to this area in 2000, she volunteered at a nursing home, spending time helping the residents. Once she settled into Gulf Breeze, she began looking for an organization where she could again help those who were vulnerable, but on the other end of the age spectrum. She learned about Guardian ad Litem, and over 14 years later, she’s still going strong in the program.
Janet finds the most fulfilling portion of being a volunteer comes from the joy of establishing a trusting and open relationship with the children. One of her kids, Lacey Whitlock, who’s now an adult, had this to say about her, “She was there for me always, giving me guidance and just an all-around great listener. We would chat over lunch and she would walk with me in my neighborhood throughout the years in care. We spent a lot of time talking; she helped me process the series of unfortunate events that happened during my childhood.”
What characteristics does she think are most valuable for a GAL volunteer? Compassion and dependability. Our children need to feel how much they matter to us and that comes through our nonjudgmental kindness delivered consistently. We are so grateful for our long-time volunteers, like Janet, who demonstrate this.