Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Joyful Surprises for Children in Foster Care
by Rachel Barrett, Director of Marketing and Communications
The Guardian ad Litem program of Pinellas and Pasco Counties collected gifts donated by Shorecrest Preparatory School students and families on Friday, December 9. The Crisp Gym was packed with hundreds of presents, including bicycles, toys and clothing that the students brought in with their classmates, grade by grade throughout the morning.
“Gift Drive collection day is something the Shorecrest community looks forward to all year long!” said parent volunteer and Gift Drive co-chair Kim Craig. “Every Shorecrest student, from preschool through 12th grade, participates and they take the gift selection, wrapping, and delivery very seriously. The whole Shorecrest community comes together to make sure the children in foster care know that they’re loved - it’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!”
The gifts will be distributed by Guardian ad Litem volunteer child advocates to children who have been removed from their homes by no fault of their own, with nearly 250 local children receiving the presents. The Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay provides advocacy and support for abused, abandoned or neglected children in the Guardian ad Litem Program of Pinellas and Pasco Counties. For some of them, these will be the only gifts they receive all year.
“The holidays can be especially stressful for families in crisis. Often times, neighbors, grandparents, aunts and other relatives are caring for children who have been removed from their parents and while they can provide love and a home-many struggle to provide for the extras like holiday gifts. Each year, Shorecrest’s generosity brings tears to our volunteers and families eyes.” said Amy Foster, Executive Director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay.
There are almost 3,000 children under the jurisdiction of the court in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Guardian ad Litem volunteer child advocates provide advocacy for over 2,700 children to help them navigate the tumultuous legal system. Upper School students formed a Guardian ad Litem Club in 2014 with more than 40 high school students volunteering on behalf of the children year-round. To date, nearly 20 Shorecrest parents volunteer as Guardian ad Litem advocates as well.
Shorecrest has a longstanding relationship with the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. For more than 20 years, the Gift Drive has been the school’s signature service event with participation from Shorecrest families at every grade level.
Thank you to everyone who helped and donated this year!!