Last April, during National Volunteer Week, Interapt introduced Service Days, an employee benefit that allows employees 16 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer or to participate in charitable events. Employees can request time in 4 or 8 hour increments.  At Interapt, we want to create a culture that celebrates volunteering and empowers volunteers to be more active. We want to continue to encourage our employees to make time to volunteer as it not only benefits the community at large but we also hope it makes you feel good. 

Melanie Trass, our Vice President of Skills, Client, and Talent Success shares about her volunteer experience and dedication to a cause that is special to her. Read more below, in Melanie’s own words: 

“As a volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for the 4th Judicial Court in Duval County, I provide a voice for foster children in court, school, with their legal guardian/foster parent, etc. Nearly all the children have been victims of some form of abuse. It is the most meaningful volunteer work of my life. 

I complete an extensive review of each case and report findings to the court, while ensuring representation of the child’s best interests.  Additionally, I monitor the case following a court hearing or decision and regularly consult with the case manager. On average, most volunteers spend 10 hours a month advocating for the child. 

The GAL is important for the child because our assessment is critical to a judge’s analysis and final ruling on the fate of the child. In 4 out of 5 Florida cases, all or almost all of the recommendations made by a Guardian ad Litem are accepted by the court.  Every state has a program, it may be branded as the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in your state.  

I encourage anyone who has the capacity in their lives to consider an opportunity to impact our youth in this manner. I believe many professionals have complimentary skills which would make them a great volunteer court appointed special advocate for children.  Thus, I encourage anyone who is service oriented, with a commitment to children, to consider applying their skills to becoming a specially trained volunteer GAL.”