Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, you published a story of the terrible abuse and mistreatment of a child being locked outside with no clothing or care overnight as punishment. This story made such a huge emotional impact on me and many of your readers as well I am sure. It has left a vivid image of the horrific event in my mind. My heart breaks for this young child and my prayers are with her.

There are far too many children are victims of abuse or neglect and become involved in the dependency court system right here in our local community. We wish that no child would have to experience abuse at the hands of the one’s that should be providing a safe, loving and nurturing home for them, but that’s not the reality.

Although we can’t prevent all abuse, there is a way to make a difference in the life of these children. Trained Guardian ad Litem Volunteers, with staff support passionately advocate on behalf of the best interest of the children in the dependency court system. The advocate’s only interest is to ensure that the child’s needs are being fully met and they have a voice in the court process. The volunteer child advocates of the Guardian ad Litem Program are people that have taken action to improve the lives of the abused children in our community and not idly stood by and accepted it. They don’t do it for reward, but it is so personally rewarding when you see that you have made an impact in the direction of the child’s life it’s truly a priceless experience.

For information on how you can be a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, please call 386-364-7720 or

1-866-341-1425. Visit

Thank you,

Paul Crawford, Jr.

Lake City

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