By Wendy Byerly Wood
January 31, 2014
To the editor,
Humans less than 5 feet tall don’t scare me at all! We call them children, but they are still humans with the same basic needs as adults…food, water, and shelter. Yet some children have only these basics, and every child deserves much more. All children need to feel safe, secure, and loved in order to reach their potential.
My own childhood was like an old-fashioned country Christmas story. My parents were far from wealthy, but my sister and I had everything we needed and some of the things we wanted. There was always good food, a warm home, and people who loved us. I feel like I owe it to my parents to share that experience with other children. I guess I could say that it is in their memory that I became a volunteer with the Surry Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program. It is also in honor of my own beautiful grandchildren that I ask myself, “What can I do to help children reach their potential?”
Acting as a GAL provides me the opportunity to serve one or more children by being their voice in the courtroom. Child advocacy allows me to work with a team to help ensure that children who have been removed from their birth families still feel safe, secure, and loved. It fulfills my own need to step outside of my comfort zone to help a child in need. Each child receiving support from Social Services and the GAL program will grow up. I want them to grow up to be positive, contributing members of our community and good parents to the next generation. Then the future brightens for all of us.
Thirty-three years as an educator was more than a career. It was/is a passion that continues to drive my life even in retirement. One of my favorite scripture verses is Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” This is the verse I’ve chosen to be my guiding light. The GAL program is an avenue for compassionate adults and deserving children to shine.
If you would like to learn more about the Guardian ad Litem program in Surry and Stokes County, please call 336-386-3721. You can also check out the program at www.ncgal.org.
The address is: 114 Atkins Street, P.O. Box 1246, Dobson, NC 27017