Letter: Here’s how to make a difference in a child’s life

From: Chuck Grimes

Advocates for Children staff guardian ad litem


I recently was looking forward to a laid-back Friday. It included a blank schedule. Wife Linnda thought otherwise, and she normally knows what’s best. This day provided no exceptions.

So with her persistent, last-minute encouragement, I attended an early morning breakfast with a group of special gentlemen. Ninety minutes at Four Seasons Retirement Center, with a group that represented close to 500 years of teaching kids, was 90 minutes well spent.

The buffet was, as usual, top-of-the-line. Also, and just as usual, the time spent with 35 or so retired educators was extremely enjoyable. Stories of the classrooms in days gone by (some of which were undoubtedly embellished) brought memories to life. There were stories of former students, stories of friends who have passed away. Conversations were rich, and some jokes even richer.

Our determined and optimistic leader was at his best. He reminded the group before departure that Columbus was and is a great place to raise a family. His community praise presented this former teacher with a perfect segue into the same two-minute spiel delivered several times a year.

I grabbed the opportunity to remind the knowledgeable group that not every family in Columbus is “well-raised.” Drugs, domestic violence, daily abuse, apathy, etc., combine to give us a constant and growing supply of neglected kids.

These are kids who fall through the cracks through no fault of their own. Many do so without our noticing. All deserve better. Thankfully, the displaced kids who are fortunate enough to have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working at their side have a much better chance of rising up and surviving their unfortunate and deplorable situations.

Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough CASAs to meet an increasing need. I reminded the group that 10 volunteer hours per month might be a small sacrifice to make if the effort could contribute to enriching the life of one needy young person.

They were reminded that one simple call to Advocates for Children (812-372-2808) might make a huge difference and make Columbus an even greater place to raise a family. An operator is manning the phone and awaiting calls.