On April 29, Outback Steakhouses across the state opened their doors and served lunch for Guardian ad Litem volunteers.
Volunteers from the 27th Judicial District of Lincoln and Cleveland counties attended the University Chancellor Drive Outback. Manager Monica Dhatt along with wait and cook staff donated their time as well as lunch to honor Guardian ad Litem volunteers.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children who are in the court system. They make sure that the childrenâ€™s voice is heard in the difficult court process.
Volunteers meet with children, parents, social workers, teachers and many other agencies in order to report to a judge what their investigation finds is in the best interest of the children they represent.
At the lunch, Betsy Sorrell district administrator of District 27B, presented an award to Dorris Hoyle.
Hoyle was one of the first volunteers in the district and has been an active volunteer for more than 15 years. She has advocated for 35 children and spent countless hours visiting children, preparing court reports and attending court to speak up for their best interest and finding permanent homes.
Hoyle brought a wealth of experience to the Guardian ad Litem program from her many years of services in the Girl Scouts, as a member of the Community Based Alternative Committee, the Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children, and many varied positions in both the local and district levels of the First United Methodist Church.
Hoyle is one of the 3,800 volunteers in North Carolina who, along with 100 attorneys, represented the needs of 15,706 children last year.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers gave the State of North Carolina over 734,200 hours of service, representing a savings to the state $11.78 million.
Anyone interested in knowing more about the Guardian ad Litem program should call Ann Killian in Lincolnton at 704-736-8525 or Betsy Sorrell in Shelby at 704-484-4771.