Maybe you have seen the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie.
The McHenry County version of that movie for abused and neglected children gathered at d’Andrea’s Tuesday morning.
They are called CASA’s–Court Appointed Child Advocates.
Several spoke, plus there was a video by Mike Jackowski with recordings and written testimonies.
Although not a CASA, McHenry County Sheriff’s Sergeant Hector Garza spoke of a similar experience.
The former undercover agent said that speaking to the 300 assembled was the “scariest thing he had ever done.”
He told of an almost twenty-year relationship that started on a domestic altercation call.
The man and the woman were fighting.
A little girl peered around a door jam and Garza went over and asked what was happening.
“Mommy and Daddy are fighting over Daddy’s touching me,” the five-year old replied.
The Deputy asked where and the girl showed him by pointed to various parts of a doll she was holding.
At that point, Garza took the father outside and restrained him.
Going well beyond the call of duty, Garza kept checking back on the family, which had continuing problems.
He said he wanted the mother to know that he was watching the family.
One day recently, he heard his name while shopping in a grocery store.
It was the little girl, now grown up with a little girl of her own.
She told Garza that the little girl’s father had another daughter who was not being taken care of properly and wondered if he could help her obtain permission to care for her, even though, as Garza pointed out to the audience, “there was no blood relationship.”
The Sheriff’s Deputy was able to do so and told the audience, containing many attorneys, that the woman was now looking for one to offer his or her services pro bono (for free) so she could adopt her.
I can’t remember the exact words, but it was to keep the little girl from having to grow up with problems that she had had.
Garza said the little five-year old had grown up to be a healthy woman.
And a caring one, one might observe.
The other main speaker was recently-retired Circuit Court Judge Maureen McIntyre.
Her message tomorrow.
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Additional child advocates are needed.
You can get more information here.
Nicely done, Cal. The work of this agency is a gift to the community at large.
We are blessed int his county to have numerous non for profits that are supported by a generous and compassionate community. I look back at my 6 years on the board of this agency as time I could not be more proud of and the association with such critical work. Thanks for the support.