‘My Guardian Angel’ comforts children in peril
MADISON – A child is traumatized when removed from addicted parents, a car wreck or other life-threatening situation. Lori Warren’s “My Guardian Angel” project instills trust between these children and police officers who rescue them.
About one year ago, Warren read about an organization in California that gives duffel bags to foster children. “Many people don’t realize when a child is removed from their home and put into the foster care program, they are, many times, removed with short notice,” she said.
Children must stash their belongings in a trash bag for storage. “What a sobering implication,” Warren said. “My things are trash. Am I trash, too?”
Warren explored ways to help by attending classes on starting a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and other research. “However, nothing felt right,” she said.
She founded My Guardian Angel to donate one backpack for every deposition taken by her firm, Alabama Court Reporting. An officer will have a backpack to give the child for their belongings.
On Sept. 23, Warren and her staff delivered 45 backpacks to Madison Police Department and 70 to Madison County Sheriff’s Department, one for each unit (car) to keep in the trunk.
“The need has never been greater than right now for a community’s citizens to understand the importance of our law enforcement,” Warren said.
Emblazoned on the backpack front are a halo, angel wings and the words “My Guardian Angel.” “The backpacks reinforce the bridge between police, or ‘Guardians of the Community,’ and kids,” Warren said.
Hopefully, the child will remember the officer’s kindness. The officer “was their guardian angel in a very difficult time. Since court reporters are ‘Guardians of the Record,’ it suddenly felt right,” she said.
Warren won’t see a child receiving a backpack, because an officer will give the backpack to a child in the field. This outreach “is strictly to give the law enforcement agent an opportunity to build a bridge in a positive way,” she said.
Warren has lived in Madison since 2009 and has worked as a court reporter for 22 years.