I’m Jan Gerle and I want to share a story with you.
Sometimes we wonder if our efforts go unnoticed. We try to do good, nice things for others, from our hearts, not for a thank you. “ But when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you….” But was it really appreciated we ask ourselves? After all, we are only human……
At a WELCA meeting late last year, the subject came up as to what charity we would give to during the Christmas season. During the pandemic we did not host a bazaar at which we usually designate a charity to receive funds. Cheryl Jefts, a former Guardian Ad Litem, told us of a need that this program had. Teenage children are the hardest to donate gifts for and she suggested that we give something to them. Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)is a program with the mission statement “ to promote and protect the best interests of abused and neglected children involved on dependency court proceedings through advocacy efforts of trained volunteers.” These are children that are placed in foster care removed from their parents.
The WELCA ladies decided that each lady, if possible, donate a $25 Target gift card. WELCA bought addition cards so just over 40 cards were donated and Cheryl brought them to the GAL office in Dade City.
At the beginning of this year, with Cheryl’s encouragement, I trained and became a certified GAL myself. During my last face to face interview the subject of church came up and I told my interviewer that I attended Atonement Lutheran Church in Wesley Chapel. She said “ OH, that’s the church that gave us all those Target gift cards! They were so appreciated by the teens, they could “go shopping!” That was a wonderful thing your church did.” She took me down the hall to introduce me to the GAL lawyer, told him I was from Atonement and he also said, “ Oh, the church that gave us the gift cards! Thank you so much!”
I am now a certified Guardian Ad Litem, and as a volunteer our statement is “ We are for the child”. WELCA voted to repeat the gift cards to GAL again this year. Now they are for the child too! Our efforts were noticed! So see, this story has a happy ending!