SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Presented by WSAV 3, Brightside Child and Family Advocacy hosted their annual meeting and breakfast Tuesday.

Volunteers and community partners were honored.

“Understand that everyone in this system is working towards common goals and common purposes, that of child safety and strengthening our communities.,” said Keynote speaker Chris Hempfling, JD, MBA, CWLS.

He continued, “That’s the finish line that we keep running towards and one that keeps me motivated every day, to keep fighting for what I know is a very worthwhile cause. So, thank you for your passion to keep fighting, thank you for all your time, energy and dedication that you give to help those involved in our child welfare system. “

A $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Hannah Oberry, who entered foster care with her three younger brothers.

Oberry is a member of student council, will graduate in the fall and is known to provide excellent customer service at her job. She currently lives in Augusta and is looking forward to attending technical college.

“She’s going to stay in foster care until she’s 21. That is the oldest she can stay in foster care so she can get every support necessary, so that she can achieve her dream, and her dream is to support her brothers as soon as she can.” said Kate Blair, Executive Director of Brightside Child and Family Advocacy.

This year’s theme is “Introducing: Brightside Child & Family Advocacy.” Brightside Child & Family
Advocacy, formerly Savannah/Chatham CASA, has provided advocacy for children in foster care for the last thirty years.

At the beginning of this year, the organization expanded under the name of Brightside to include a supervised visitation and family support center and become the local council for Prevent Child Abuse Georgia.

Brightside volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention they need.

There are five steps to becoming a Brightside volunteer:

1. Attend a one-hour Informational Session (optional)
2. Submit the application. 
3. Have an informal interview
4. Complete 40 hours of pre-service training
5. Smile when you’re sworn in by a judge as a CASA volunteer!