[Tallahassee] – Coach Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his wife Chris are gifting the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Foundation 300 specialty license plates that say “Heartfelt Child Advocacy” – for Valentine’s Day. Proceeds from the plates will help the abused, abandoned and neglected children that the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program represents in dependency courts.
Bruce and Chris are high school sweethearts, married for 50 years. Chris practiced family law for much of that time, and the couple has helped programs like Florida Guardian ad Litem in other states Bruce has coached. In 2013, they established the Arians Family Foundation.
Bruce and Chris say abused and neglected children should get all the help they need, which is why they donated the specialty plates.
“Can you imagine the increase in awareness of the Program’s mission if every vehicle on the road had a GAL tag?” asks Bruce. “Your support will make a life-changing difference in the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable children and youth.”
“Bruce and I are huge supporters of Florida’s GAL (Guardian ad Litem) program, which provides a multi-disciplinary team approach that includes a trained volunteer, a lawyer, and a certified child case manager to advocate and represent kids in foster care,” says Chris Arians. “You could say it is our ‘hearts’ mission. We are supporters of the ‘Heartfelt Child Advocacy’ auto tags, which will both raise awareness of the benefits of GAL volunteer advocates and raise money for the programs. Please join us in purchasing these tags and considering volunteering for your local GAL program.”
Thanks to the Arianses’ generosity, 300 free Guardian ad Litem specialty plates saying “Heartfelt Child Advocacy” are available until March 15 for everyone. “We are beyond proud and grateful for their support,” said Guardian ad Litem Interim Executive Director Dennis Moore. “The greater our visibility, the more people learn about Guardian ad Litem, the more children we can help.” Studies show that children with a Guardian ad Litem are more likely to be adopted, half as likely to re-enter foster care, less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, more likely to have a permanency plan, and more likely to perform well in school.
Proceeds from the specialty plates will reach children via the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, a direct-support organization and non-profit corporation. The Foundation supports the Program’s mission, including recruiting, training, certifying and retaining its volunteers.
“This is a GREAT opportunity to advertise our mission on vehicles all over the State of Florida and raise awareness about our cause – ‘Heartfelt Child Advocacy’,” said Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation CEO Sonia Valladares. Those interested in obtaining a specialty license plate donated by Bruce and Chris Arians should email GALtag@gal.fl.gov and provide their full name and phone number.
To learn more about the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, visit www.flgal.org or call 1-850-922-7213. To learn more about becoming a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, please call 1-866-341-1425 or visit www.guardianadlitem.org.