by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Voices for Children

As a young girl, Linda Woolcott was shy and quiet. She was raised by a close family in Indiana; she and her two sisters (one was an identical twin) were watched over by parents from front porches and spent summers at a lake cottage in Michigan. As an adult she pursued much more extroverted occupations, teaching high school English and then practicing law. “That I ended up as a teacher and then a lawyer would not have been predicted by anyone who knew me in my youth,” Linda laughed.
Linda started looking for ways to help the community.

volunteer_2“I read an article in the newspaper about the struggles of foster children who move from home to home,” she explained, “many times separated from siblings, or who ‘age out’ of the system without a family or adults to help them after they turn 18.” The article spurred her in to becoming a CASA, a Court Appointed Special Advocate through Voices for Children, helping children in foster care navigate through the system. Though she is now semi-retired, Linda was able to be a CASA even while practicing law full time because a CASA volunteer generally works only 10 to 15 hours a month. “Right away I knew that any support I could give would be welcome for a child who needed a caring adult to listen, support, and advocate for them.”

If she could grant Voices for Children one wish, she would give them the ability to provide a CASA for every foster child in need of one. She feels a great sense of accomplishment in her work with Voices for Children. “I have been a reliable, supportive, helpful, and steady presence in the lives of my case children and their families, most of whom have known only chaos and abandonment.”

Del Mar, to Linda, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. She and her husband Warren spend time hiking the trails of North and South Torrey Pines and enjoying the farmer’s markets in Del Mar and Solana Beach. They love to travel, but lately their time spent on airplanes is to get to sons Tyler and Spencer, who live with their wives in London and Amsterdam. “I also get a lot of satisfaction from cooking,” Linda confided, “and like nothing more than gathering friends and family around the table to sample my creations and enjoy each other’s company.”


volunteer_3

Meet Linda

Name: Linda Woolcott
Community: Del Mar
Volunteer Affiliation: Court Appointed Special Advocate for Voices for Children
Occupation: Semi-retired Attorney
Family: Husband – Warren; Sons – Tyler and Spencer
Hobbies: Traveling, hiking, cooking, and knitting
Favorite Local Spots: Torrey Pines trails, Del Mar and Solana Beach farmers markets, Balboa Park, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego


Group: Voices for Children
Mission: To provide CASAs for every child in foster care who needs one, to monitor every case file in the system, and to advocate for improving the lives of San Diego’s foster children.
Upcoming Events: The biggest Voices for Children fundraiser of the year is on September 19, 2015, at the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe, featuring gourmet cuisine, musical entertainment and live auction. Last year’s event grossed a record-breaking $1.36 million for foster children.
Wesite: www.speakupnow.org