Guardian Ad Litem child advocate information session

The Florida Guardian Ad Litem program needs community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by the adults in their life. Throughout this ordeal, GAL advocates are a consistent factor in these children’s lives. Your training helps ensure they have the needed services and support to find a safe permanent home. If you are interested in being a champion for the children in your community, attend a one hour informational session via Zoom. The July session will be held from noon-1 p.m. July 14. Open to all full-time residents at least 21 years of age with 8 to 10 hours monthly to volunteer with staff support and free training provided. For more info, call 941-467-4663 or email Rick.Sloan@gal.fl.gov.

C.A.R.E. luncheon

The Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies will host their third annual scholarship luncheon in honor of Paula Hess, one of the most active founders. Scholarships are available to any person who has used services, including shelter, counseling, training and legal services. It is also available to survivor’s children. The luncheon will be at noon July 21 at the Isles Yacht Club, 1780 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. The cost is $50 per person. RSVP to 941-639-5499 or call for additional information. Additional information can be found at www.carefl.org.

Free autism screening for young childrenGolisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida, offers a free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to five years of age. The next screening will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 23 at the Pediatric Specialist Office, 15901 Bass Road, Suite 102, Fort Myers. The screenings are administered by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders. A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, call 239-343-6838.

Virtual Dystonia Zoo DayThe inaugural Virtual Dystonia Zoo day in 2020 united thousands of individuals from all 50 states and 9 countries, on the same day, at the same time, to raise awareness and raise funds to support the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Fun live and virtual activities will be planned throughout the day from zoo keeper chats and expert chats to social media contests and arts and crafts. The live stream kicks off at noon Sept. 25. Register at https://letszoothis.swell.gives.

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