The Aledo Children’s Advocats organization marked its annual membership meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, with the recognition that it has been in operation two decades now.
The annual meeting came just 10 days after the Advocats Help & Hope Luncheon on Sept. 30 at Ridglea Country Club.
Laura Anderson, president, opened the membership meeting by sharing a status update of the AdvoCats on the 20th anniversary of the organization’s founding.
“Aledo Children’s AdvoCats has experienced tremendous growth over the past 20 years. What started as a handful of women meeting in each other’s homes has grown into an organization of over 300 women helping children and families in need while also making friendships to last a lifetime,” Anderson said.
While the mission of the AdvoCats is to help children and families in need, it is also a social organization that connects women in a fast-growing community. This year’s mission is to get members more actively involved while also encouraging social opportunities.
“The beauty of the AdvoCats organization is the willingness of its members to step up and meet the needs of children and families within Aledo ISD communities while making friendships that will stand the test of time,” said Ann Simmons, membership chair.
Aledo Children’s AdvoCats is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was born in 2002 when 21 women banded together to form a volunteer organization to support unmet student needs within the Aledo ISD community. After two decades, this mission continues to be carried out thanks to the support of Aledo ISD, generous donors and event sponsors, and the volunteer efforts of members.
AdvoCats has raised more than $1 million and assisted thousands of children and families. The organization is volunteer-based, and monies raised through fundraising are used towards charitable efforts such as medical, dental and vision expenses, counseling, career and technical education courses, living expenses, clothing needs, and crisis intervention.
Aledo Children’s AdvoCats has three main community outreach programs. Each one works directly with Aledo ISD counselors to identify and assist qualified students/families.
Children’s Fund is the AdvoCats main outreach service. It works directly with Aledo ISD by individually evaluating each student’s needs. All information is kept confidential. Children’s Fund helps with medical, dental, and vision expenses, counseling, career and technical education courses, living expenses, expenses for graduating seniors, school supplies, and crisis intervention.
The Clothes Closet is a resource for qualified Aledo ISD families to receive clothing free of charge. It is also open to the public as a resale store with all proceeds going back to support the mission of Aledo Children’s AdvoCats. The Clothes Closet welcomes donations of new or gently used clothing and accessories.
Angel Project organizes Christmas gifts for qualified Aledo ISD students and siblings residing in the same home. School counselors identify students who may benefit from this project. AdvoCats collects wish lists, assigns volunteer shoppers to purchase gifts, and then collects and distributes the gifts.
AdvoCats has extended help over the years with projects such as Bearcat Park, Hancock House of Hope, Parker County Teen Court, Shattered Dreams, Adams Family House, and scholarships for high school seniors.
Aledo Children’s AdvoCats helps children and families in the Aledo area through funds given by generous donors and sponsors as well as two major fundraising events each year: the Help & Hope Luncheon in the fall and the Run, Walk or Crawl 1K & 5K Race in the spring. The next race will occur on March 25, 2023, at Bearcat Stadium.
AdvoCats also hosts several members-only social events including Muffins & Mimosas during the first week of school, Feast & Fashion, and an annual Christmas party.
2022-2023 board members are Laura Anderson, president; Lisa Robertson, president-elect; and Sarah Allen, Natalie Bone, Jennifer Collins, Becky Dean, Amy Dube, Sarah Gallaher, Kristen Harford, Ali Huxel, Tracy Jack, Christi James, Lynn Johnson, Karyn Kelbaugh, Kate Kent, Haley Key, Lauren Kimberlin, Candi Lear, Chelyne Leifeste, Meredith McCarthy, Lauren McMurrey, Rita McWaters, Margie Miller, Kim Mulkey, Patti Oaks, Deja Parker, Linda Parks, Angela Patterson, Dawn Poston, Suzi Prokell, Lisa Robertson, Valerie Shelman, Kristi Siddons, Ann Simmons, Jennifer Taylor, Jessica Williams, and Amy Yates.
AdvoCats always welcomes new members. For more information or to join, visit www.aledoadvocats.com or follow on social media.
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