Tampa, FL – Success for the Arians family is not always measured by actions on the football field. While many people were excited about the potential Bruce Arians was bringing to the Buccaneers, Guardian ad Litem volunteers were also excited for the potential Christine Arians and the Arians Family Foundation were bringing to complement their advocacy efforts for foster children. The couple’s support of programs for children who have been abused and neglected is now recognized with Christine being named Community Advocate of the Year by the Florida Guardian ad Litem office.
The Guardian ad Litem program annually recognizes volunteers, attorneys, foundations and judges who have gone above and beyond to support foster children in judicial circuits across the state. The individual circuits submit nominees to the state office for annual awards. Tabitha Lambert, 13th Circuit Director, says, “Christine and the Arians family have supported advocacy for children in foster care for many years and in several states. When she learned they were relocating to Tampa, she immediately reached out and wanted to continue their efforts here. In just one year, her involvement has made a huge difference for children across the Tampa Bay area.”
Chris Arians has been instrumental in financial support and communication for the Guardian ad Litem children in both the 13th and 6th Judicial Circuits. She attended a CASA (the national program for Guardian ad Litem) conference in Georgia where she met with individuals from five states to discuss the pressing issue of attorneys for foster children. Chris brought together directors and non-profit leaders from multiple areas to discuss program issues, fundraising ideas, and a CASA proposal for auxiliary programs. “We are so lucky to have Chris and the entire Arians family in our corner,” says Jennifer Starr, Voices for Children director. “They truly are a blessing to us, GAL/CASA and all the children they lift up each and every day!”
As one of their first events here, the Arians family provided backpacks and school supplies for 100 foster children who were also able to meet players and get autographs and photos. The Arians have provided tickets to home football games, financial support for holiday gifts, and are exploring ways to provide opportunities for reunifying families.
The Arians also shared their time to record public service announcements about the importance of having volunteer advocates for foster children and the need for donations during the COVID-19 restrictions. The PSAs can be seen on www.vfcgal.org and www.galtampa.org.
For more information about the Guardian ad Litem program, contact 813-272-5110.