Letters to the Editor

Touching experience

I’d like to express how grateful I am to be a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). As a GAL, I get all types of questions.

First, despite the term “volunteer,” is, “Do you get paid?”

“No, GALs are volunteers.”

Then I get, “Oh, you do it because you need volunteer hours for school?”


And then I get this last one, accompanied by the look.

“How can you do such a sad job?”

Being a GAL is the most amazing and rewarding experience I’ve ever had. It’s not a sad job. It’s an important job — being the voice for abused children who have lived in silence, advocating for their rights and making sure they’re fulfilled.

As a GAL, I give foster children hope, strength and safety. I get paid in smiles, hugs, gratitude and the peace of mind that a child is smiling in a safe, loving home.

They say I’m their hero. You can be someone’s hero, too, and wake up every day grateful, knowing that there is a child who will always be appreciative of your existence. No, GALs don’t get paid — because their job is invaluable.

Alaina Machado,