Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
20 Years and Counting: Holiday Gift Drive for Guardian ad Litem
by Rachel Martin, Director of Marketing & Communications
When: Friday, December 11, 2015 at 8am – 12:30pm Where: Crisp Gymnasium
The Guardian ad Litem program of Pinellas and Pasco Counties will be collecting gifts donated by Shorecrest Preparatory School students and families. The Athletic Center will be packed with hundreds of presents, including bicycles, toys, and clothing.
“The holiday gift drive culminates in a heartwarming display of generosity in our school gym Friday morning as students ages three to 18 deliver gifts they helped purchase for children in our community that they know only by first name,” says Event Chair and Parent Volunteer Dr. Kristen Danielson. “With pride and excitement, they roll in bikes and carefully place anything from wrapped iPads to socks in piles for pick up.”
Event Co-chair and parent volunteer Kim Craig says that when the guardians arrive for the gifts, they are often in tears. “The entire Shorecrest community pulls together to ensure that 200 underserved children have some joy this holiday season. The greatest thanks is witnessing the heartfelt gratitude and tears from the guardians who maybe just days before thought the children in their care might get nothing. We are honored to be able to make a small difference in the lives of these children.”
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 over 200 children receiving holiday 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 many, the holidays are about family and celebrations. But for our children, this is an especially lonely time of year where children miss their parents and siblings most. We hope by providing gifts their holidays are just a little brighter,” said Amy Foster, Executive Director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay.
There are almost 3,000 children placed in foster care in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Guardian ad Litem volunteer child advocates provide advocacy for over 2,950 children to help them navigate the tumultuous legal system. 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. Upper School students formed a Guardian ad Litem youth program in 2014, with more than 40 high school students volunteering on behalf of the children year-round. 12 Shorecrest parents volunteer as Guardian ad Litem advocates.