Guardian ad Litem Presentation with Judge Andrea Dray October 20th

In his 2016 Proclamation President Obama stated we as a nation must ensure that every child grows up in a safe, stable, nurturing environment and recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed.

Now in the midst of the COVID pandemic, one of the most vulnerable groups within our community is those children in the protective oversight of Social Services. Over 50% are seven years old or younger; many have been removed from their homes. A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appointed by the State District Court for each child to be their voice. During the past five years I have been a GAL advocating for  the best interests of children in and out of the courtroom until a safe, permanent home was found.

Licensed foster care providers receive a small monthly state stipend; kinship providers (usually grandparents, aunts/uncles or other close family members) receive very limited funding from the state. In 1990 the GAL’s formed an association, the Guardian ad Litem Association of Buncombe County, to raise money to address the unfunded needs of these children. Our Association seeks to provide those activities that can enrich and ‘normalize’ our children’s lives such as swimming lessons, bikes, overnight camping – the simple things that so many children here in Buncombe County take for granted, things that can lead to a successful life.

A recent example of our funding was for a 9-year old child, abandoned by her mother, who was now struggling in her third foster home. The only constant in her life was her GAL, who recognized the child’s interest in gymnastics. The Association provided funds for her to be a member of the school gymnastic team as well as attend a special camp. Now she’s doing very well in foster care and her coach says she is a gifted gymnast!

To ensure these children are not lost in the shadow of the pandemic, the Association is offering a free special virtual presentation via Zoom on Tuesday, October 20, 6:30 -7:00 pm, with two guest speakers:

The Honorable Andrea Dray, District Court Judge, will discuss the impact of the pandemic on the court system and the children. An adopted child herself, Judge Dray brings a very special perspective.

A former Foster Child, will share her experiences within the court system and the significant role of her GAL in changing her life’s path.

Please visit our website gala-bc.org for more information about the event as well as the Zoom link.

Whether you can attend the Zoom event or not, we welcome your support in helping us continue to provide the things that can lead to a successful life for our children.

Thank you,

Christina Hellier

Guardian ad Litem Association of Buncombe County

Work & Life Balance for Women Attorneys: An Opportunity to Share Suggestions and Support

Please join WNC NCAWA for a brainstorming conversation!

Judge Susan Dotson-Smith, Gabrielle Trott, Cynthia Alleman and Koral Alman will speak briefly. We hope to also hear from many of you! The meeting will last 40 minutes initially, then please rejoin the conversation by logging back into Zoom.

Wednesday, August 26 at 12:30 pm

Zoom Meeting:

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74785649171?pwd=WlFVVnRVSEpJRlVhR0xBVWFvUnF1Zz09

Meeting ID: 747 8564 9171

Passcode: 8iimGx

 

Also, the election of new officers will be held at our October meeting.

President: Senta Rhodes, rhodes@gtalaw.net

VP/President Elect: Melody King, MKing@vwlawfirm.com

Secretary: Margie Huggins, nclemon@mindspring.com

Treasurer:

WomenBuild Habitat House Update

The women of the Buncombe County Bar contributed almost $9,000 to the Women Build house at Habitat for Humanity. Thank you to all those who contributed! New homeowner Quintania will be speaking at a Women Build fundraising party on March 14th. The party is free to attend and lots of fun! Click here to learn more about the event.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Trivia Night Supports NCAWA Habitat House

Join the Buncombe County Women Attorneys and Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity at the Casual Pint’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Supreme Court trivia night! This is our final fundraiser as we work to sponsor the 14th Women Build house. We’ve raised almost $6,000 of our $10,000 goal. Come out and help us close the gap!

Besides testing your knowledge of all things RBG and Supreme Court, we’re hosting a Ruth Bader Ginsburg collar contest! Prizes to the winner for the best collar, judged by some of our finest local legal minds!

Wednesday, October 23 2019 at 7 pm at the Causal Pint on suite 145, 1863 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803. The Casual Pint will be donating 10% of all beer sales that night to help build this affordable and energy efficient home, the future home of Quintania Gregg and her children.